Although apparently isolated and far away, Orkney is in fact very well served by transport links, both by air and sea. There are good connections by air from four major airports in Scotland, while land travel to Scrabster, Gills Bay in Caithness, or Aberdeen is facilitated by good roads as well as bus and rail services which tie in with the ferry times.
Loganair operate several flights per day into Kirkwall Airport (KOI), as part of a FlyBE franchise. There are three direct flights per day from Aberdeen and and two direct flights per day from each of Edinburgh, Inverness and Glasgow. In addition there are daily flights to and from Shetland, and Kirkwall Airport is also open on Sundays.
Details of all flights are available by telephoning Fly BE reservation and inquiries on Tel 0871 700 2000. or you can book online at www.flybe.com
The publicy funded ferry operator is Northlink Ferries who operate between Scrabster in Caithness and Stromness and also between Lerwick, Kirkwall and Aberdeen. Their large, modern ferries take around an hour and a half to cross the Pentland Firth, passing the Old Man of Hoy on the way, and run overnight to Aberdeen and Lerwick.
Northlink Ferries, Ferry Terminal, Stromness, Orkney KW16 3BH - Reservations 0845 6000 449 http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/
The privately owned Pentland Ferries operate Orkney's shortest vehicle ferry crossing of one hour between Gills Bay, Caithness and St. Margarets Hope, Orkney with their new purpose built catameran The MV Pentalina
Pentland Ferries, Pier Road, St Margarets Hope, Orkney, KW17 2SW, Tel: 01856 831 226 http://www.pentlandferries.co.uk/
John O'Groats Ferries operate a summer passenger service between John O'Groats and Burwick in South Ronaldsay. Coach services meet the sailings at Burwick for transport to Kirkwall, while there is a special bus service from Inverness to John O'Groats. Several variations on day trips are available.
John O'Groats Ferries, John O'Groats, Caithness KW1 4YR, Tel 01955 611353. http://www.jogferry.co.uk/
Citilink bus services meet the Ham, as do Scotrail trains. Enquiries Scottish Citilink Coaches Ltd, Buchanan Bus Station, Killermont St, Glasgow G2 3NP, Tel 0990 505050 (08:00-20:00, 7 days); also National Express Coaches 0990 808080. Scotrail Tel 0141 204 2844 or 0131 556 2451.
Ridgway Travel, 67-69 Albert Street, Kirkwall, Orkney KW15 1HQ, the local Orkney travel agent would also be delighted to help with all your queries about travel to and around Orkney, Tel 01856 873 359