The Isles of Orkney delight guests and crew for a second year

Glen Shiel is making her way home from Stromness to our Oban base today after a wonderful four weeks cruising the Orkney Isles.  Over the last month, guests and crew have been warmly welcomed by the people of Orkney especially our valued suppliers noted below. They were lucky to sample some of the delicious produce from the island’s best, sustainable businesses and visit some of the most breathtaking places. 

They witnessed incredible sunsets, enjoyed land tours to the most iconic and culturally significant historical sites, walked on deserted white sandy beaches, and spotted lots of wildlife including a pod of five orcas.  

Read on below to discover some of the special highlights from our time in Orkney this summer.

Land Tour

Our 6-night Orkney: A Voyage Through Time cruises included a land tour with Scapa Taxis visiting some of the most well-known historical monuments across the island, now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The Standing Stones of Stenness – Standing up to 6m tall, these surviving stones date from around 5000 years ago and give an amazing insight into the lives of these prehistoric people.  Another of these monuments, The Ring of Brodgar dates to between 2500BC and 2000BC and is a huge henge and circle of Neolithic stone in a wonderful setting.  The third of the UNESCO sites is Skara Brae, the settlement where small passageways, beds, and furnishings still stand, proving a testament to the skills of these Neolithic people. 


Guests were also treated to the views of Yesnaby Stack, just south of Skara Brae, on the west coast of the mainland.  The spectacular red sandstone cliffs are a fabulous backdrop to the imposing sea stack and its natural arch.


Glen Shiel cruised around the many islands of Orkney including stopping at Papawestray to allow guests a delightful walk ashore on the white sands. Guests were also incredibly humbled to be anchored next to the Churchill Barriers, four giant concrete causeways built to block off the naval anchorage of Scapa Flow. The wreckages seen from here are poignant reminders of Orkney’s part in World War Two.


Suppliers included Jollys of Orkney, Orkney Fish, Donaldsons of Orkney Butchers, Kirkness & Gorie Wine Merchants, Skapa Taxis, Launderama and J W Grays & Co