There is currently just the 1 ferry route running between Scotland and Orkney Islands operated by 1 ferry company – Pentland Ferries. The Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope ferry crossing operates weekly with a scheduled sailing duration from about 1 hour.
Whilst we’ve taken great care to ensure the information on this page is correct, as the frequency and duration of crossings on all routes can vary from time to time we’d advise that you get a live quote for current availability on this Scotland Orkney Islands crossing between Gills Bay and St Margaret's Hope.
Scotland is the northernmost country in the United Kingdom, occupying the Northern third of the land, sharing a border with England to the South.
Scotland is a beautiful country well-known for its dramatic scenery of mountains and rugged coastlines, with the natural scenes of the Highlands as a top winner.
The Scottish climate tends to be very changeable, but even though the sun might not always shine, the warm welcome from the wonderful diversity of landscapes attracts many visitors.
If you’re heading away from Scotland by ferry then Northern Ireland is easily accessible with a choice of routes and ferry companies. Travelling from the Scottish mainland to the Orkney, Shetland or any of the destinations off Scotland’s west coast is more convenient than ever before and you’ll get to take in some of the most spectacular coastlines and landscapes in the UK while you sail too.
The direct route to the continent is no longer available, but there are numerous routes from Northern England to use instead.
The Orkney archipelago encompasses seventy islands within the Northern Isles of Scotland, roughly sixteen kilometres north of the mainland.
Unique as they are picturesque, the Orkney Islands are one of Scotland’s greatest feats. Mostly flat in appearance, they’re steeped in millennia-old history, with the island of Rousay nicknamed ‘the Egypt of the north’, owing to the sheer number - over a hundred a fifty - of archaeological sites, including a five thousand year old chambered tomb. A heavy Viking influence is another hallmark of Orkney’s identity, apparent in the architecture of the Kirkwall Cathedral and almost every place name Norse in origin. Orkney is also one of the best places in Britain to watch the marvellous Northern Lights, and to spot tens of thousands of migratory bird species, dolphins, whales, and seals basking on white-sandy beaches.
Sandwiched between northern Scotland and the Shetland Islands, it’s easy to sail to Orkney from both locations. From a few ports on the mainland’s north coast, there are fast and regular crossings to a couple of towns in Orkney, while the routes from Aberdeen and Shetland run three times a week.