Highlights of Orkney and Shetland

Visiting: Kirkwall, Lerwick


Duration: 5 Nights

Physical rating: Moderate

Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Please contact Brightwater with any specific dietary requirements

Tour code: BOSH

Tour operator: Brightwater Holidays

Group size: 6 - 25

Age range: 1-99

Tour operated in: English


Prices From: $1720

Tour Overview

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, before our short crossing back to the mainland.

Highlights

  • iconThe Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel, poignant reminders of more recent history
  • iconClick here to see route map
  • iconSpectacular sea cliffs at Eshaness
  • iconMultitudes of seabirds at Sumburgh Head (May-July)
  • iconThe multi-period settlement of Jarlshof
  • iconNeolithic Orkney – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:

Itinerary

icon Day 1

Accommodation Name: Northlink Sea Ferry

Meals: Dinner

We depart from our designated departure points and travel to Aberdeen where we board the Serco Northlink Ferry (Hrossey or Hjaltland) overnight to Lerwick (departs 19.00hrs). 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. There is also a well-stocked gift shop for souvenir shopping or essential items.

icon Day 2

Accommodation Name: Busta House Hotel, Shetland

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Our ship is due to arrive in Lerwick at 07.30hrs. After breakfast on board (available from 07.15hrs) we will leave the ship and commence our tour of Shetland. Our first stop is in Scalloway, the former capital of Shetland, where we visit the ruined castle built in 1600 by the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart. We then continue north towards the spectacular cliffs of Eshaness, look out for the ‘Otters Crossing’ sign at the narrow isthmus known as Mavis Grind, where it is said to be possible to throw a stone from the North Sea to the Atlantic. Following our visit here we transfer to our comfortable accommodation at the historic Busta House Hotel, Brae. All rooms have en-suite facilities. Dinner will be served in the evening.

icon Day 3

Accommodation Name: Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today we will start with a visit to the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, with over 3 acres of remains, spanning 3,000 years since the days of the Stone Age, including oval-shaped Bronze Age houses, Iron Age broch and wheel houses, Viking long houses and medieval farmhouses. From there we travel to the southern tip of mainland Shetland, Sumburgh Head, where the North Sea on the east meets the Atlantic Ocean on the west. 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 and an opportunity to visit the state of the art Shetland Museum for more detail on this special set of islands. We will rejoin our ship, which sails at 17.30 hours for Orkney. Dinner is served on board. On arrival in Orkney (expected 23.00hrs) we will transfer the short distance to Kirkwall to our accommodation at the Kirkwall Hotel. All rooms have en suite facilities.

icon Day 4

Accommodation Name: Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast today we have an all-day excursion of mainland Orkney visiting the many archaeological sites including the great stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness, which lie to the north side of the Orphir Hills. To this day the monuments’ ages remain uncertain, however they are generally thought to have been erected between 2500 BC & 2000 BC. We continue to Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe. Built before 2700 BC, Maeshowe was raided by Vikings in the 12th century. 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 visitor's centre depicting the history of this world-famous monument. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

icon Day 5

Accommodation Name: Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today we will have some free time to explore Kirkwall and its environs at leisure. Places of interest include St. Magnus Cathedral, one of Europe’s greatest architectural masterpieces, its red and yellow sandstone still vibrant after 861 years, and the adjacent Bishop’s Palace. Spend some time shopping and enjoy lunch (not included). In the afternoon, we will 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. The causeways are built of 5 and 10 ton concrete blocks and have good roads on the top connecting Burray and South Ronaldsay to the Orkney mainland. 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.  The marvellous paintings in the interior were done by Domenico Chiocchetti, one of the prisoners who returned several times to restore and repaint parts of the building.  We return to our hotel, where dinner is served this evening.

icon Day 6

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to St. Margaret’s Hope to catch the Pentland Ferries' late morning sailing to Gills Bay. We will then return to our original pick up points by early/late evening (please note Aberdeen and Dundee are not available as drop-off points).

What's Included

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    Services of a professional tour manager

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    All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

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    Entrance Fees

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    Drinks with Meals

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    Meals - as per the itinerary

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    Comfortable coach travel throughout

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    Ferry crossings

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    Accommodation

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Brightwater Holidays requires a deposit of 15% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

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    Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Brightwater Holidays allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform Brightwater Holidays, 25 days before departure.

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    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


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Dates & Availability

Instant Booking Available

Saturday Aug 07, 2021

Nights

5

Available

25

$1788.59

Instant Booking Available

Monday May 09, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$1857.65

Instant Booking Available

Monday Jun 13, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$1788.59

Instant Booking Available

Monday Aug 15, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$1788.59

Instant Booking Available

Monday Sep 19, 2022

Nights

5

Available

25

$1719.53

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