Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.

Getting To Know Kirkwall – Cruise Port Guide


The orkney Islands are hugely popular with cruise passengers and Kirkwall has a never-ending array of things to see and do. In fact, it has one of the highest concentrations of ancient sites in Europe. Not surprising then that the locals say if you stick a spade in the ground, you’ll probably find another archaeological site. Welcome to our Kirkwall cruise port guide, your one-stop tool for planning and making the most of your time in the Orkney Islands.

Kirkwall is the largest town in the Orkney Islands and its current named was derived from the Norse name of Kirkjuvágr (Church Bay). A gin by the same name is now distilled on the island. Kirkwall is a place filled with history, over 5000 years of it, and it’s a destination that will leave you wanting to explore more. One day is simply not enough, but it is a chance to glimpse into the fascinating tales this part of our world has to tell. Be sure to do an organised tour or pre-arrange a tour with a local guide in order to get the very best from your visit. 

Travel Tips

Even in the summer months, there can be a very fresh breeze across Kirkwall, so please ensure you pack a jacket and possibly hat or scarf. Skara Brae is entirely exposed to the elements, so it never hurts to be prepard.


Key Highlights of Kirkwall

  •  Skara Brae
  • Ring of Brodgar
  • Scapa Flow
  • St Magnus Cathedral
  • Highland Park Distillery
  • Standing Stones of Stenness
  • Italian Chapel
  • The Orkney Museum
  • Earl’s Palace
  • The Bishop’s Palace and Earl’s Palace
  • Groatie Hoose
princess cruises no fly cruises

Regular cruise line visitors

  • Princess Cruises
  • Saga
  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Cunard
  • P&O Cruises


x icon