Silversea Luxury Cruises To KIRKWALL (Orkney)

KIRKWALL (Orkney)

Scattered just off the northern tip of Scotland, Kirkwall is the capital of the Orkney Islands - a scenic archipelago of fascinating, dual heritage. The Viking influence is deep, while a prehistoric past and World War history adds to the endless stories that these dramatic islands have to tell. Sparse and beautiful, let the sweeping seascapes of frothing waves, and dance of the northern lights, enchant you as you explore. Windswept beaches are inhabited by whooping swans, while grassy cliffs hide puffins amid their wavy embrace. View more

Sea caves and crumbling castles - and the dramatic meeting of the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean add to the romantic beauty of these lands, which may be physically close to the UK, but feel an entire world away. The sandstone St. Magnus Cathedral is the centrepiece of Orkney's main town - a place of winding lanes and atmospheric walks - and Britain's northernmost cathedral is a masterpiece that took 300 years to complete. Started in 1137, the beautiful cathedral is adorned with mesmerising stain-glass windows and has been evocatively named as the Light of the North. Look down over the ruined Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces nearby from the tip of the cathedral's tower. Or, test out the islands' history-rich distilleries, which produce smokey single malts - said to be the best in the world. You can also venture out to Europe's best-preserved Stone Age Village, at the extraordinary World Heritage Site of Skara Brae, which offers an unparalleled vision into prehistoric life.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

cruises visiting KIRKWALL (Orkney)

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DUBLIN To REYKJAVIK
  • Departure
    May 29 2020
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Cloud
From US$ 10,400
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REYKJAVIK To LONDON (Tower Bridge)
  • Departure
    Jul 08 2020
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Wind
From US$ 9,720
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REYKJAVIK To EDINBURGH (Leith)
  • Departure
    Jul 14 2021
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Whisper
From US$ 6,930
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SOUTHAMPTON To SOUTHAMPTON
  • Departure
    Sep 03 2021
  • Duration
    12 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Spirit
From US$ 6,930
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REYKJAVIK To LONDON (Tower Bridge)
  • Departure
    Sep 15 2021
  • Duration
    14 Days
  • Ship
    Silver Wind
From US$ 9,900
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Fares shown are per guest

Excursions in KIRKWALL (Orkney)

Connoisseurs Experience at Highland Park Distillery & Italian Chapel

Discover Viking heritage of Kirkwall and visit the northernmost Scotch whisky distillery in the world on today's delightful half-day excursion. Filled with history, Kirkwall first appeared in the history books in the year 1046, a time when it was settled by Vikings who called the town Kirkjuvagr, meaning church on the bay.

Departing the pier, leave Orkney's biggest island and follow the coast of Scapa Flow to the smaller South Isles. Drive over the first of the Churchill Barriers, built during the Second World War to protect Scapa Flow. Make a stop to see the unforgettably beautiful, hand-painted chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war interned during World War II. The Italian Chapel remains today as a testament not only to peace, but also to the talent and skill of the Italian prisoners.


Continue on to the home of what is considered by many Scotch whisky connoisseurs to be the finest Scotch whisky in the world. Highland Park is the northernmost maker of this liquor in the world, and for you today offers a Connoisseur's Experience. Receive a detailed tour of the distillery and get a taste of 12, 15, 18 and 25-year-old expressions of Highland Park, which has been described on multiple occasions by Scotch whisky experts as "The Best Spirit in the World."


A visit to Kirkwall is not complete without a visit to the St. Magnus Cathedral, a 12th century sandstone structure commissioned by the Vikings, who ruled the Orkney islands for seven centuries. Known as the Light of the North, the cathedral is the northernmost of its kind in all of Britain and is known for being welcome to all who wish to enter. Today the cathedral has become, in addition to a place of welcoming worship, a meeting place, a visitor centre, even an arts space.


Take your time to explore the cathedral and St. Magnus Visitor Centre and Orkney Museum. There is also free time to wander nearby to discover Kirkwall's abundant craft and knitwear vendors. Return to the ship.



Please note: Restricted opening times in Kirkwall and the Cathedral on Sundays and early morning. This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for a total of one hour, much of it at the discretion of the visitor, with a total of 300 m of necessary walking, at times over uneven surfaces. There are a few steps to negotiate to get on and off the coach, and a flight of stairs at the distillery. Walking in Kirkwall Town is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair who are not traveling with a companion who can assist. Guests are advised to wear warm, comfort able clothing in layers with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, a warm layer, and a weatherproof jacket or coat from the ship. Guests must be at least 18 years old to participate to this tour. The coaches used on this tour are air-conditioned. Photography is not permitted in the Still Room of the distillery. The tour sequence may vary.

Kirkjuvar Gin Tasting

Discover the Norse heritage of the Orkney islands through its plant life and gin as you visit the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery. Arrive at the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery, home of the renowned Orkney Kirkjuvagr gin that reflects the boldness of the region's Norse ancestry.


Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery, Distilling process and tasting

Kirkjuvagr is a lovingly crafted gin that is made from local herbs and plant life, including two varieties of rose (Ramanas Rose and Burnet Rose), as well as Borage and Angelica. Legend has it that the Angelica plant was brought to the Orkney islands by the Norse (and still grows on the islands). The name of the gin, Kirkjuvagr, denotes another connection to Orkney's heritage; the name means "church on the bay" in Old Norse.


Travel a short distance from the pier and arrive at the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery. After an introduction, take a guided tour to learn about the distilling processes and the rare botanicals used to create this lovely gin. Enjoy the opportunity to sample a refreshing gin and tonic and sample a platter of local delicacies as you gaze over the picture-perfect views of Kirkwall's bustling harbour, teeming with local fishing boats.


After your relaxing cocktail, take a short stroll with the guide back to the shuttle bus.


Please note: This tour involves a small amount of walking around the distillery, for a total of 180 m of walking. There are steps to the first floor of the distillery, but there is a wheelchair lift available. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair who are not traveling with a companion who can assist them on and off the coach. Guests are advised to wear warm, comfortable clothing in layers with flat, closed-toe walking shoes. Guests must be at least 18 years old to participate to this tour. The coaches utilised on this tour are air-conditioned.

Kirkjuvar Gin Tasting On Foot

Discover the Norse heritage of the Orkney islands through its plant life and gin as you visit the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery. Following a walking tour of Kirkwall, arrive at the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery, home of the renowned Orkney Kirkjuvagr gin that reflects the boldness of the region's Norse ancestry.


Kirkwall Walking Tour

Starting at Harbour Street, you turn into Bridge Street and Albert Street. We then arrive at St. Magnus Cathedral, founded in 1137, and dominating the skyline for many miles. It is one of the finest and best preserved medieval cathedrals in Scotland.


You then walk the short distance to The Earl's Palace, built in 1600 by Earl Patrick Stewart. Continue to the adjacent remains of the Bishop's Palace, which was built in the mid-12th century to provide accommodation close to the splendid new Cathedral.


Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery, Distilling process and tasting

Kirkjuvagr is a lovingly crafted gin that is made from local herbs and plant life, including two varieties of rose (Ramanas Rose and Burnet Rose), as well as Borage and Angelica. Legend has it that the Angelica plant was brought to the Orkney islands by the Norse (and still grows on the islands). The name of the gin, Kirkjuvagr, denotes another connection to Orkney's heritage; the name means "church on the bay" in Old Norse.


Travel a short distance from the pier and arrive at the Kirkjuvagr Gin Distillery. After an introduction, take a guided tour to learn about the distilling processes and the rare botanicals used to create this lovely gin. Enjoy the opportunity to sample a refreshing gin and tonic and sample a platter of local delicacies as you gaze over the picture-perfect views of Kirkwall's bustling harbour, teeming with local fishing boats.


After your relaxing cocktail, take a short stroll with the guide back to the shuttle bus.

Panoramic North Orkney & Ring of Brodgar

Explore the rugged beauty and landmarks of the northern Orkney Isles during this scenic, half-day sightseeing excursion.


Kirkwall, Northern Orkney Isles, Eynnhallow Sound, Brough of Birsay, Refreshment stop.

Depart the pier for the scenic drive west of Mainland, Orkney's largest island. Traverse the gentle, rolling countryside landscape and enjoy superb views towards the northern Orkney Isles. Pass by Eynnhallow Sound, a dramatic stretch of water where the Atlantic Ocean meets the North Sea, before pausing at the small tidal island at the Brough of Birsay for spectacular panoramic views of the stunning scenery. After a photo stop here, proceed for a refreshment stop at a local venue


Orkney, Neolithic Heartland, Ring of Brodgar, Scapa Flow

Next, re-board your coach and continue on to the Neolithic heartland of Orkney; an area designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. We will pass the Standing Stones of Stenness, before a stop is made at the larger Ring of Brodgar - a 5,000-year-old circle of stones. Explore this ancient monument, and admire the landscape of the islands. At the conclusion of your visit, commence the approximately one-hour drive to the pier via the north shore of the Scapa Flow.


Please note: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking for approximately 55 yards (about 50 metres), at times over uneven, grassy and soft surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. To walk up to the Ring of Brodgar, the walk is approx. 200m but the monument can be viewed from the car park where there are interpretation boards. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear warm, comfortable clothing in layers with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and a weatherproof jacket or coat from the ship. The coaches utilised on this tour are air-cooled. The tour sequence may vary.

Ring of Brodgar & Free time in Stromness harbour

Discover the Neolithic heartland of Orkney and Stromness Town during this picturesque, half-day sightseeing excursion.

Kirkwall, Orkney, Rolling Landscape, Neolithic Heartland, Ring of Brodgar

Depart the pier for the scenic drive west of Mainland, Orkney's largest island. Traverse the gentle, rolling countryside landscape en route to the Neolithic heartland of Orkney; an area designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Your first stop is at the Ring of Brodgar, a 5,000-year-old circle of stones. During your brief visit, explore this ancient monument and admire the landscape of the islands.

Stromness Town and Harbour, Free Time, Shopping, Pier Arts Centre, Craft Shops, Scapa Flow

Next, re-board your coach and head to the charming fishing village of Stromness. After a briefing and orientation, some free time is made available to explore the picturesque harbour of Stromness. You can stroll along the lovely, flag-stoned streets of this seafaring town, visit the beautifully refurbished Pier Arts Centre with exhibitions by local and international artists, and/or explore the craft shops selling local knitwear, pottery and artwork. Following your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier via the coastline of the Scapa Flow.

Ring of Brodgar & Skara Brae

Explore the archaeological wonders of Orkney during this half-day excursion to the ancient sites of Main Island guided by a local archaeologist.


The Ring of Brodgar

Depart the pier for the approximate 30-minute drive into the interior of Main Island. Upon arrival at the narrow neck of land between the Harray and Stenness lochs, your first stop is at the Ring of Brodgar, a splendid reminder of the Stone Age. Here, see 27 of the original 60 stones set in a precise circle and six degrees apart. These stones date from about 2700 B.C.


Skara Brae

Next, re-board your coach and drive farther north to Skara Brae, one of the best-preserved Stone Age settlements in Western Europe. Skara Brae was discovered after a fierce storm in 1850. For centuries, the site was covered with layers of sand, which accounts for its excellent state of preservation. During your visit, see houses with stone furniture, hearths and a drainage system. Artefacts such as tools, beads, pottery, stone and whalebone items, thought to have been in use between 3000 and 2000 B.C., were also discovered here.



Skaill House

Other highlights at Skara Brae include the Skaill House, built for Bishop George Graham in the 1620s. During recent restorations, skeletons from a pre-Norse graveyard were unearthed from beneath the Main Hall. There are some fascinating relics on display, including a chest from a Spanish galleon sunk in 1588 and china from Captain Cook's ship, Resolution.

Following your visit, re-board your coach for the short drive through the ruggedly beautiful Orkney countryside en route to the pier.



Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, at times over unpaved, uneven and grassy paths, with a few steps to negotiate to get on and off the coach and numerous steps at the venues. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Warm, layered clothing, sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes are recommended. Photography and videography are not permitted inside the Skaill House. The tour sequence may vary.The coaches utilised on this tour are air-cooled.

Whisky Distillery & Italian Chapel

Experience the splendid coastal beauty, flavours and churches of Orkney and the South Isles during this panoramic, half-day sightseeing excursion.


Kirkwall, Scapa Flow, South Isles, Churchill Barriers, Italian Chapel

Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 40-minute drive along the coast of the Scapa Flow en route to the South Isles. Cross over the Churchill Barriers, built during World War II to protect the Scapa Flow, a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. The Scapa Flow and its sheltered waters have been used by ships throughout history, and played an important role in travel, trade and conflict for centuries, especially during World War I and World War II. A stop is made for a guided visit to the beautiful, hand-painted Italian Chapel. Built by Italian prisoners of war who were interred on this small island during World War II, the chapel stands as a lasting memorial to peace, as well as the ingenuity and skill of the prisoners.


Highland Park Distillery, Tour and Tasting, Shop

Next, re-board your coach and continue on to the Highland Park Distillery. Upon arrival, view a short film about Orkney, Highland Park and the island's Viking roots, then take a guided walking tour of the working distillery. Following your tour, proceed for a tasting of three select, Highland Park whiskies, including a 12-year-old, 18-year-old and a mystery Special Edition. Before leaving the Highland Park Distillery, you can purchase bottles of whisky at the Highland Park shop.


Kirkwall, St. Magnus Cathedral, Free Time

Leaving the distillery, re-board your coach and return to Kirkwall. Upon arrival, head to the beautiful, 12th-century sandstone St. Magnus Cathedral, built by the Vikings during their 700-year rule over the islands. Following a guided tour of the Cathedral, some free time is made available to explore Kirkwall Town at your leisure, and browse the shops for knitwear, jewellery and local crafts. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the short drive back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 546 yards (about 500 metres), at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and a flight of stairs at the distillery. Walking in Kirkwall Town is at the discretion of each guest. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear warm, comfortable clothing in layers with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and a weatherproof jacket or coat from the ship. Guests must be at least 18 years old to participate to this tour. The coaches utilised on this tour are air-cooled.Photography is not permitted in the Still Room of the distillery. The tour sequence may vary. The coaches utilised on this tour are air-cooled.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.