We arrived in Kirkwall amongst nearly 7.5k people arriving there as 2 other ships where in as well. The population of the town just about tripled that day! We just had a walk around the town & the shops, we had a look in the church & enjoyed listening to the bagpipes! It is one of those places I would never have been to if it weren’t for going cruising
We took the local bus and got to visit Scara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and saw the countryside. Then we visited St Magnus Cathedral and the Earl's Palace on our own and had a lovely lunch in a small place.
Visited: Jun 28, 2017
We didn't book a tour. We walked over to the church, they were just getting ready for a service (it was Sunday) so we didn't go inside, but the outside is really pretty. Right across the street is the castle and Bishop's house. We paid the admission and went inside. We met a gentleman who was playing lawn bowling with a group and invited us to watch. So we followed him over just behind the castle and watched and visited for about 30 minutes. Very friendly people. We then walked around exploring and taking pictures, then followed our map back to downtown where the stores that opened were opening around noon. Went into a wonderful place run by 3 sisters called Hume Sweet Hume. Bought a gorgeous shawl handknit by the sister who was working that day. They also sell jewelry and clothing. Really nice store and super friendly staff. Also went into a shop selling Orkney tartans and the Princess Diana tartan (in the front window). Also another shop was the Orkney Arts & Crafts Association and they had local art, pottery, glassware etc. Wonderful shop with authentic items.
Visited: Aug 04, 2017
Kirkwall, Orkney (Roam Like Home) on CMV Marco Polo August 2018. We had been expecting this stop to be Lerwick in the Shetland Islands; however dur to weather conditions we couldn’t stop there so luckily managed to get into a diverted port. Luckily the independent tour we’d arranged in Lerwick was a pay on the day deal which the organisers had cancelled due to the expected weather – they were very right! This is a great example of where independently arranged tours can go a little ‘pete tongue’ for you as ships have the discretion to alter the itinerary at any point. We had a free port transfer into the town which drops you off in the main town bus stop. There is one tour bus, however it was full by the time we reached it and there was only one per day – top tip: disembark the ship asap if you want to catch it. Therefore we instead took a combination of different public buses to venture around the island. You can get a day rider for around £15pp which allows you unlimited public bus usage. The weather was glorious and the scenery stunning. We used the brown and yellow routes.
It can be a bit bleak and lacks shelter, but seeing Skara Brae and the Ring of Brogdar was fascinating, either neither is all that big. We were given a display of Scottish dancing to send us on our way.
Visited: Aug 25, 2018
I love Orkney. We had a private tour of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar, etc. because NCL excursions were sold out prior to the cruise. These ancient neolithic sites are older than the Pyramids. Must see if you have the chance.
Visited: Sep 15, 2019
Absolutely go to Skara Brae and Skaill House - one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world! Dress warmly if you go; it was July when we were there, and the wind coming off the water was bitterly cold.
Visited: Jul 07, 2016
Another great port. We took one of the ship's excursions that took us all over the island to see many of the sights. The convenience of having the ship handle it all in our limited time made this worth the price. The highlight of this tour was going to see Scara Brae - a prehistoric village that has been uncovered and partially restored.
Visited: Aug 30, 2019
Interesting excursion to "Stonehenge"-like stones, plus time to get some yarn.
Visited: May 04, 2018
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