Sailing from Rosyth
Rosyth • Cruising by The Needle, Orkney Islands • Cruising by Old Man of Hoy, Orkney Islands • Kirkwall, Orkney Islands (overnight) • Lerwick, Shetland Islands • Rosyth
• Up to £100 pp David Urquhart Sky Travel Voucher
• Up to £100 pp Free Excursion Voucher
• Up to £100 pp Transport Allowance
Cruising by The Needle
'Pinned' just off south west coast of Hoy Island, the 230 ft-high Needle is the Orkney archipelago's second-highest rock stack.
Along with the legendary Old Man of Hoy, the Needle is one of the Orkney's most popular climbing hotspots, a haven for various seabird species and is a magnificent sight to admire from the comfort of your ship's decks.
Cruising by Old Man of Hoy
Britain’s tallest and arguably most famous sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy rises 450 feet out of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Hoy Island, in Scotland’s rugged Orkney archipelago.
Originally an arch with two ‘legs’ resembling those of an old man, hence the landmark’s nickname, the erosive power of the weather has reduced the stack to a single pillar which, owing to a huge crack slicing through the middle of it, geologists believe will one day collapse into the sea.
As it stands today though, defiantly battling the Atlantic tide and Scottish storms, the Old Man of Hoy remains one of the UK’s most popular climbing spots and an impressive sight to enjoy from the comfort of your cruise ship.
Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, resonates with ancient echoes of Christian, Nordic and Celtic history. It’s a town that feels more Scandinavian than Scottish; in fact, the name Kirkwall comes from the Norse for 'Church Bay', relating to the town's 11th century Church of St Olaf of Norway.
Exploring the town’s atmospheric paved streets and twisting lanes, reveals a number of highlights, including the ruins of the Earl and Bishop’s Palaces, dating from the mid-12th century and serving as a reminder of the Orkney's turbulent past. The palaces are considered by many to be the finest Renaissance buildings in Scotland. Also worth visiting is the recently restored St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in memory of Saint Magnus Erlendsson by Norseman Earl Rögnvald Kali.
Don't miss Tankerness House, a beautifully preserved 16th century townhouse, and the Orkney Wireless Museum, with it's fascinating insights into the history of radio, too.
Sturdy Lerwick is the friendly capital of the 100 islands and islets of the Shetland Islands. The bustling, cosmopolitan seaport is the islands’ only town, and its wonderful natural harbour is a joy to explore.
Until the 1600s, Leir Vik – Norse for a muddy bay – was little more than a few huts. However, conflict between the British and Dutch (whose fishing fleet fished for herrings off the islands) led to the building of a permanent settlement. This included Fort Charlotte, which once overlooked the harbour but has now been enclosed by the town following land reclamation.
Despite the wealth created by North Sea oil, modern Lerwick retains many fascinating small shops and historic buildings. Wandering along atmospheric Commercial St. is a delight, and the Böd of Gremista – a “fishing booth” built in 1780, is now a fascinating museum. The ground floor has the salt store and the kitchen, where herrings were hung to dry. Outside the town are the well preserved remains of the Broch of Clickimin, a small Bronze-Age settlement excavated in the last century.
At a glance....
Balmoral is Fred. Olsen's largest and newest cruise ship, named after the Scottish home of the Royal Family. Still smaller than most cruise ships today, there are 710 cabins and suites and generous public space for the 1,300 guests on board.
|Passengers||1350 Standard Occupancy|
|Beam (width)||28.2 m|