Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Making the Most of Kirkwall, Scotland

Making the Most of Kirkwall, Scotland


The Magic will dock on Monday, July 17, 2017 at Hatston Pier, about 1.5 miles from the center of Kirkwall. Free shuttle buses will be on hand to run you into town. You’ll find tourist info on the pier and in town at the corner of Junction Rd. and West Castle St. Car rentals and taxis can be found in town, by the tourist info office. Banks and ATMs can be found on Broad St., near St. Magnus Cathedral. You may want to obtain some pounds here to have at journey’s end in Dover. The U.K. opted out of the Schengen Agreement, so officially, a passport is required for entry. However, we expect you’ll be able to go ashore without it. The Magic will be the only ship in port. All ashore time is 8:15 am, all aboard 5:45 pm.


Walking—Kirkwall goes out of its way to be pedestrian-friendly. Stone paving marks pedestrian-only/limited vehicular access streets and alleys, making this town a joy to roam. Of those, Bridge St. and Albert St./Broad St./Victoria St. (a street by any other name is still the same) provide the lion’s share of shopping and dining options. A stroll up Bridge St. from the waterfront brings you to the town’s major points of interest. Taxis are metered, and the local companies, Cragie’s and Bobs, are based near the ferry pier in town. The first mile costs £3.80, £1.80 each additional mile. Local bus service is available, but other than, say, a trip between Kirkwall and Stromness, isn’t all that useful in this very walkable town. The bus depot is next to the tourist info center on Junction Road. Car rentals can be picked up in town, across the street from the tourist information office. WR Tullock Ford is the agent for Avis and Europcar—http://www.orkneycarrental.co.uk. Is it worth driving around? Perhaps, but you can’t go very far in the Orkneys without taking a ferry to another island.


The Orkneys have a very low crime rate, so the usual precautions will be sufficient. The islands, with so few trees, are wide-open to steady sea breezes, so a good wind jacket is a very good idea. You are in the U.K., so cars do drive on the left. Remember this before you cross the street, or consider a car rental. Though many tourist streets are pedestrian-only, you may still encounter an occasional vehicle, so stay alert.

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