For the latest COVID-19 travel information and to find out what's open, click here.
  • NorthLink Ferries vessel MV Hamnavoe - image by Nick McCaffrey

Travel information

Get the latest information on travel to, from and within Orkney - updated 5/8/20

Ferries and flights to Orkney, and our own internal routes, have been operating on a reduced capacity for a number of months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capacity on ferries and flights to Orkney is still restricted due to physical distancing guidelines. As restrictions on travel are eased, it's anticipated that capacity on routes to the islands will increase. Changes will be made in accordance with Scottish Government guidelines and you should always check with transport providers before planning your trip to the islands.

Please do not travel to Orkney if you don't have travel or accommodation pre-booked.


NorthLink Ferries has opened sailings to and from Orkney for all travellers. To allow physical distancing on board there will be restrictions to the numbers that can sail, so passengers must book ahead to avoid disappointment. Bookings can be made via the NorthLink Ferries website or by phoning 0845 6000 449 (Calls cost 5p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge) or 01856 885500 (International and UK mobile telephones).

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NORTHLINK UPDATE - 5th AUGUST - local restrictions have been put in place in Aberdeen following new COVID-19 cases identified in the community. NorthLink Ferries are providing lifeline connections as they have done throughout previous lockdown phases to maintain connectivity and will inform all those travelling (both northbound and southbound) of the issued Scottish Government guidance on local Aberdeen restrictions. These are:

  • People should not travel more than five miles for leisure purposes.
  • Travelling for work or education is permitted, but other travel is not advised.
  • Do not travel to Aberdeen.
  • Do not go into each others’ houses (with the exception of extended household groups).
  • All indoor and outdoor hospitality in the city to close tonight, which will be enforced if necessary.

As such it will be for those travelling to decide if they wish to do so given issued guidance.

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Pentland Ferries is also accepting bookings for travel to and from Orkney. Passenger numbers will be restricted due to physical distancing guidelines. Bookings can be made via Pentland Ferries website or by phoning 0800 688 8998.

Loganair is accepting bookings to and from Orkney too. Find out more via the Loganair website. The airline has also provided some healthy flying advice.

At the moment, Orkney Ferries services are operating on a revised timetable. There is no restriction on travel but there are capacity issues due to physical distancing guidelines, so please consider whether your journey is necessary and avoid travelling at busy times. All passengers must book in advance. You can book by phoning 01856 872 044. Visit the Orkney Ferries website for updated information.

Loganair’s inter-isles flights are operating.

Local bus services for the Orkney mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray are operating as normal. Changes made for Bus Routes 2 (Kirkwall – Houton) and 6 (Kirkwall - Tingwall) remain in place to fit in with revised ferry timetables. Information on how to stay safe when travelling by bus is available on the Stagecoach website.

Passengers are reminded that face coverings should be worn when boarding and during their journey by bus. One-metre physical distancing measures are in place on buses and this reduces the number of passengers that can be carried.

Please remember that face coverings must be worn on all public transport in Orkney.

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