Orkney and Shetland Minicruise
Our mini cruise to Orkney and Shetland is one of our most popular tours offering people a rare chance to visit two of the most northerly British Isles. The highlight of the tour is undoubtedly the guided excursions on Orkney and Shetland and cruising with Northlink Ferries. The delights of this tour are further enhanced with the journey north through the spectacular highlands and the wonderful opportunities for sight-seeing en-route.
Skara Brae • Skaill House • Scapa Flow • Italian Chapel • Ring of Brodgar • Ponies
Day 1 Travel into Scotland with an overnight stay in the Glasgow area.
Day 2 Continue north with a recommended stop in Pitlochry, where an optional distillery visit can be arranged. Travel through the mountainous Highlands via the towns of Aviemore and the highland capital of Inverness. Time at leisure in Inverness before completing today’s journey to Wick.
Day 3 Enjoy a day at leisure in Wick. Alternatively a half day excursion can be made to the famous tourist spot of John O’ Groats, 837 miles from Lands End.
Additionally you may wish to include a visit to the Queen Mother’s Castle of Mey (additional cost applies). The Castle is situated on the north coast of Caithness, 15 miles east of Thurso and 6 miles west of John O’Groats. It stands on rising ground 400 yards from the seashore, overlooking the Pentland Firth and the Orkney Islands and is an impressive sight with its jutting turrets, typical of 16th century architecture. The gardens are equally impressive.
Day 4 Depart Scrabster at 13.15 with Northlink Ferries on the 90 minute crossing to Stromness. A soup and sandwich lunch will be served en route. Reboard the coach in Stromness and meet your local guide.
Orkney boasts some of the best preserved archaeological sites in Europe, including Neolithic villages, burial tombs and impressive stone circles. The afternoon excursion begins with a visit to Skara Brae, an incredibly well preserved stone village dating back 5,000 years and the nearby Skaill House. For more recent island history travel via Scapa Flow, a 50 square mile expanse of deep water, forming one of the largest, sheltered anchorages in the world. Relics of two world wars lie both within and around the Flow: seven German ships, the Churchill Barriers with their beached blockships and the inspiring Italian Chapel. Also visit the magnificent Ring of Brodgar, originally 60 stones in a vast circle between the Stenness and Harray Lochs, 27 of which remain standing. Dinner is taken in a local restaurant.
Proceed to Kirkwall port to board Northlink Ferries’ 11pm service to Shetland. Comfortable twin bedded cabins are provided.
Day 5 Breakfast is served on board before rejoining the coach in Lerwick and meeting your local guide for the day's touring on Shetland.
The island has 900 miles of coastline with dramatic cliffs and beautiful scenery. Visit the outstanding site of Jarlshof in the south and also view Shetland's famous ponies. A stop will be made at Scalloway Castle, built by Earl Patrick Stewart in 1600, and its new museum.
Re-board the ferry and enjoy a carvery-style dinner prior to the overnight sailing to Aberdeen.
Day 6 Breakfast is served on board before disembarking in Aberdeen. Travel along beautiful Royal Deeside, passing Balmoral and through the Pass of Glenshee. Overnight in the Glasgow area.
Day 7 Homeward journey today.
All tours are tailored to your requirements
Providing excellent standards of service and dining, their minicruise is always a popular option for exploring the Orkney and Shetland Isles.
• Boarding 30 minutes prior to departure and no queuing
• Reserved dining area for groups with carvery dinner and self-service breakfast
• 20 twin cabins allocated per group with side by side berths and en suite shower room
• Onboard facilities include a shop, cinema and spacious bar
• Full names are required for all passengers prior to departure and photographic ID is required on board the ferries
• A coach valet service is available on the ferry to assist with adhering to drivers’ hours regulations. A charge applies.
• For easier cabin access, Northlink recommends that passengers travel with hand luggage only on board ship
Norseman Hotel, Wick
The hotel overlooks the River Wick and is only a few minutes’ walk from the town centre. Ongoing refurbishment has seen the hotel's rating rise.
• 3 star • 48 bedrooms
• No lift, but plenty of ground floor rooms
• Coach parking
Your tour includes:
• 1 night half board on the outbound journey
• 2 nights half board in Wick with:
Full Scottish breakfast
3 course dinner with choice and tea/coffee
• 2 nights on board Northlink Ferry with:
Meals as detailed in itinerary
• Light lunch on Day 4
• Restaurant dinner on Orkney
• Local guide and admissions on Orkney and Shetland
• 1 night half board on the inbound journey
While we offer a very wide range of destinations it is impossible to feature everything here. If you cannot see what you are looking for please contact us to discuss your requirements.