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 to Perth, where we include a stay of 2 nights.
Skara Brae • Skaill House • Scapa Flow • Italian Chapel • Ring of Brodgar • Ponies • Perth
Day 1 Travel into Scotland with a first 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 the far north town of Thurso.
Day 3 Depart Scrabster at 13.15 with Northlink Ferries on the 90 minute crossing to Stromness. A soup and sandwiches 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 (admissions paid locally). 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 4 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 (admission paid locally) 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 5 Breakfast is served on board before disembarking in Aberdeen. Spend time at leisure in the 'Granite City', see the historic merchant quarter, or relax in one of the city's many parks and award winning gardens. Time allowing, see the small fishing village of 'Fittee' and don't forget to stop at Torry Battery viewpoint, where visitors have a good opportunity to see dolphins feeding. On then to Perth, your base for 2 nights.
Day 6 Today is at leisure in the 'Fair City'. Its location on the River Tay, and at one of the great junctions of Scotland, has meant that Perth has played a significant role throughout Scotland's history. Indeed, it was Scotland's capital until it moved to the safety of Edinburgh in the 15th Century. Soak up the city's heritage at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery, see the striking St John's Kirk, or visit Perth Black Watch Museum and Balhouise Castle which offers an insight into one of the British Army's, if not the world's, most famous fighting units. Garden lovers will enjoy National Trust-owned Branklyn Gardens (admissions not included).
Day 7 Homeward journey.
Attraction admissions on Orkney and Shetland can be included for an additional charge, contact us for details.
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. Contact us for details.
• For easier cabin access, Northlink recommends that passengers travel with hand luggage only on board ship
Salutation Hotel, Perth
This 17th century hotel is centrally located within the town's main shopping area and provides a welcoming atmosphere, good food and comfortable accommodation.
• 3 star • 84 bedrooms • Lift
• Coach parking nearby
Your tour includes:
• 2 nights half board on the outbound journey
• 2 nights on board Northlink Ferry with:
Meals as detailed in itinerary
• Light lunch on Day 3
• Restaurant dinner on Orkney
• Local guide on Orkney and Shetland
• 2 nights half board in Perth with:
Full Scottish breakfast
3 course dinner with tea/coffee
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.