The ferry port of Kirkwall connects Orkney Islands with Scotland & Shetland Islands with ferry services operated by Northlink Ferries.
There is a choice of up to 6 sailings per week from Kirkwall with the shortest crossing taking around 7 hours 15 minutes.
Use our guide on this page for some quick information or get live Kirkwall sailing times and prices in our fare search.
Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands. The town is first mentioned in the Orkneyinga saga in the year 1046. Founded by Earl Rognvald Brusason, the City and Royal Burgh of Kirkwall is the capital and administrative centre of Orkney. The name comes from the Old Norse, 'Kirkjuvagar' meaning 'church-bay' and refers to a much older church than the present day Cathedral. The original town is one of the best preserved examples of an ancient Norse town. Kirkwall's geography takes a little working out, but is in reality pretty straightforward. Harbour Street runs east to west along the waterfront, with the port facilities extending to its north. It is connected to the south by the medieval dog-leg pattern of Bridge Street and Albert Street to Kirkwall's other main point of focus, Broad Street. This in turn is fronted by St Magnus Cathedral, the Tourist Information Centre, the Town Hall, and the Orkney Museum.
Kirkwall (Hatston) Ferry Terminal is located on the outskirts of Kirkwall. Kirkwall itself is the historic capital of Orkney and is located centrally on the main island. Kirkwall is 16 miles from Stromness, 7 miles from Finstown and 15 miles from St. Margaret's Hope. Hatston ferry terminal is located 2-3 miles from the centre of Kirkwall.
Kirkwall Bus Station is located near the centre of Kirkwall, and is marked on the map below. Orkney Islands Council publish an Orkney Public Transport Connections guide.
NorthLink operate a bus service to connect with ferries to/from Hatston.
Hatston Quay, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1RQ
If you’re looking to spend a night at or near Kirkwall Ferry port before or after your trip or if you are looking for accommodation for your entire stay, please visit our Kirkwall Accommodation page for the best accommodation prices and one of the largest selections available online!