Our Orkney & Shetland Highlights tour has just got even better: with more lunches, wine at dinner, hotel porterage, and service charges all included for 2018, as well as the great hotels and expert guides you’ve already come to love, there’s never been a better time to pay a visit these islands with us.
Sail away to lands steeped in history, wildlife and stunning scenery, far from the jostling crowds to the haunting beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Many people have landed there before you – some as early as 3000 BC. Most famous of all were the Vikings, but they were not alone and all around you will find historical treasures.
Both islands, but particularly Shetland, in summer have virtually no darkness and the beauty of this ‘Simmer Dim’, as it is called locally, has to be seen to be realised. Both Orkney and Shetland have their own identity, Orkney being very green and fertile while Shetland has a more rugged cliff and sea loch scenery. Both however share a colourful history of Picts, Norsemen, ancient antiquities, buried treasure and seafaring legends, bound up with an independent spirit that makes them quite different from the rest of Scotland.
We sail with Serco Northlink Ferries and their modern, purpose-built vessels, the Hrossey and the Hjaltland, from Aberdeen overnight to Lerwick. We then have two full days to tour Shetland. After rejoining the ship for an evening sailing to Kirkwall, we have a further two full days touring Orkney, based at the comfortable Kirkwall Hotel, before our final overnight sailing back to Aberdeen.
- Spectacular sea cliffs at Eshaness
- Multitudes of seabirds at Sumburgh Head (May-July)
- The multi-period settlement of Jarlshof
- Neolithic Orkney – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- The Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel, poignant reminders of more recent history
- We’re covering more than ever in the price of your 2018 tour, including:
- All tips
- More lunches and wine served with dinner
- On-board water bottles on coach journeys
- Return coach travel available from Dundee, Perth, Kinross, Dunfermline, Edinburgh & Glasgow
- Return ferry sailing from Aberdeen
- 1 night dinner, bed and full breakfast at the Busta House, Lerwick and 2 nights’ bed and breakfast (plus one dinner) at the Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney – all rooms have private facilities
- 2 nights’ accommodation in 2-berth cabins on Serco Northlink Ferries MV Hrossey/Hjaltland. Outside cabins are available for a small supplement
- Two breakfasts and two dinners on board ship; one dinner in an Orkney restaurant
- Two full day coach tours of mainland Orkney including entrance to Italian Chapel, Skara Brae and Maeshowe
- Two full day coach tours of mainland Shetland including entrance to Jarlshof
- Comfortable coaching throughout
- Services of a tour representative
Single supplements apply. Subject to availability. Some pick-up points are subject to minimum numbers being achieved.
We depart from our designated departure points and travel to Aberdeen where we board the Serco Northlink Ferry (Hrossey or Hjaltland) overnight to Lerwick.
Once on board we shall check-in to our comfortable, twin-berth cabins which all have en-suite facilities. The ship has a delightful restaurant, where dinner is served this evening, together with a bar and lounges where you can relax.
After breakfast we leave the ship and commence our a tour of Shetland. We depart for North Mainland where we visit the spectacular cliffs of Eshaness. We travel through Tingwall Valley, the site of the old Norse parliament (Ting) and through the picturesque areas of Whiteness and Weisdale. We also stop at Scalloway, the former capital of Shetland where we visit the ruined castle built in 1600 by the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart. Following our visit here we transfer to our comfortable accommodation at the Queens Hotel, Lerwick. All rooms have en-suite facilities. Dinner will be served in the evening
We start with a visit to the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, with over 3 acres of remains, spanning 3000 years. From there we travel to the southern tip of mainland Shetland, Sumburgh Head. Here we visit the RSPB Reserve, which is home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots and razorbills. In the afternoon we travel through small communities such as Gulberwick and Cunningsburgh before we explore the island’s capital town of Lerwick, where we have some free time. We re-join our ship, which sails for Orkney. Dinner is served on board.
We have an all-day excursion of mainland Orkney visiting the many archaeological sites including the, great stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness. Lying to the north side of the Orphir Hills. We continue to Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe. It houses the largest collection of runic inscriptions to be found in any one place in the world. A visit to Skara Brae is also included, with its new visitors centre depicting the history of this world famous monument.
Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.
This morning, you have some free time to explore Kirkwall and its environs at leisure. In the afternoon we depart on a tour of the south end of mainland Orkney, crossing the Churchill Barriers which were built after the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. We also stop off at the beautiful Italian Chapel, built on the site of a former prisoner of war camp. Several hundred Italians, captured during the North African campaign of World War II were sent here to work on the Causeways and converted two huts into a chapel.
Dinner shall be served this evening at a local restaurant. Later tonight, we board the Northlink vessel for Aberdeen.
After our breakfast on board we will disembark in Aberdeen at 08.30hrs approximately. We will then return you to your original pick up points by late morning/early afternoon.