Orkney Islands Council Marine Services
The range of ports and harbours within the Harbour Authority is both varied and diverse; from the Oil Port of Scapa Flow that hosts multiple ship to ship transfer operations of crude oil and LNG and vessels serving the Flotta Oil Terminal, to the harbours of Kirkwall and Stromness that receive on average 95 cruise ships annually making Orkney the most popular cruise ship destination in the United Kingdom; to the remote island facilities of North and South Isles which receive almost daily lifeline services from our fleet of 9 Inter Island Ferries carrying over 300,000 passengers annually.
Orkney’s geographical location just 1 degree inside the new sulphur emission control area presents both challenges and opportunities and the Harbour Authority is assessing both ends of this spectrum with a pragmatic and positive view to developing future sustainable business.
Scottish mainland Ro-Ro ferry services via Serco Northlink Ferries operate on a daily basis to the ports of Aberdeen and Lerwick from Hatston and Scrabster from Stromness; a container service operates twice weekly from Lerwick and Aberdeen to Kirkwall. In addition to the larger vessels using the port facilities, there is a strong commercial inshore fishing fleet located throughout the islands as well as the ever increasing pleasure craft fleet some of which call into Orkney’s three Marinas in Kirkwall, Stromness and Westray. Berthing and landing facilities are provided throughout the islands to meet the needs for these sectors.
In June 2014, Orkney’s three port strategy supported by an investment of £22 million reached physical completion. The Harbour Authority is now looking to the future in assessing what measurable demands will be placed on its piers and harbours over the next two decades and how to plan accordingly. A strategic Port Master Plan is now underway which will review current and future infrastructure demands in all of the ports estate comprising 29 piers and harbours. Recent and historic strategic land purchases by the Local Authority to support emerging industries in and around Orkney are being called upon for new shore based support for the marine renewables and oil / gas projects.
The Harbour Authority provides all pilotage services and Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for Scapa Flow and the Kirkwall Harbour areas.