1. Do I need to book in advance?
Space is limited and we strongly recommend that you book as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. Payment is required to secure a booking.
2. Do you require a minimum number of guests for each tour?
We require a minimum of 2 guests to operate a tour. If you are a single traveller and we do not have anyone else booked on the day of your choice, we can still provide a tour but a single supplement of £59.00 will be required to guarantee that the tour will operate. The single supplement is non-refundable if other guests later book the same tour. Alternatively, we can enter your name on a waiting list and contact you if anyone books the tour you have selected. Please note that this does not guarantee your tour or constitute a tour booking.
3. Is my tour guaranteed?
Once your payment has been received, your tour is guaranteed except under extenuating circumstances beyond our control.
4. How do I make a booking?
To make a booking, simply click on the green Booking Request / Enquiry button at the bottom of the description of your preferred tour and a new email message in Microsoft Outlook should automatically open. Complete the information requested and send. Alternatively, forward the following information:
- Name of Daily Tour
- Preferred tour date
- Your name
- Number of guests in your party
- Pickup location (Stromness or Kirkwall)
- Name of your Orkney accommodation or mobile number
- Special requirements (i.e. mobility concerns, etc)
5. Why do you ask for the name of my Orkney accommodation or mobile telephone number?
This information is required by our booking office in the unlikely event that material changes are made to your tour and we need to contact you while you are travelling.
6. Where do the tours depart?
Tours depart from the Stromness ferry terminal (click here for map) and the Palace Road bus stop at the side entrance to St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall (click here for map). Tours depart the meeting point promptly at the times published and we strongly recommend that you arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. We regret that refunds will not be given for missed tours.
7. Can I take a day trip to Orkney from the Scottish Mainland?
You certainly can. Our Daily Tours Programme is compatible with the ferry timetable between Scrabster and Stromness on Mondays, Tuesdays (except 22 JUL - 29 AUG), Wednesdays and Fridays. During autumn and winter (1 Oct - 31 Mar), the day trip is also available on Thursdays. Click here for further information.
8. What is the difference between a Daily Tour and a Day Trip?
Daily Tour price includes transport in an executive touring vehicle with panoramic windows, accredited professional Orkney Driver-Guide who provides onboard commentary and personally guides you through the sites (except Maeshowe where Historic Scotland steward conducts your guided tour), and VAT. Ferry sailings, site admissions and lunch are not included.
Day Trip price includes ferry sailings (Scrabster - Stromness - Scrabster) and site admissions in addition to the above Daily Tour inclusions. Lunch is not included.
9. What size is the group on the Daily Tours?
All daily tours are conducted with a maximum of 8 guests.
10. What does accredited professional Orkney tourist guide mean?
Simply put, it means that quality is assured and professional service is guaranteed. Our accredited professional Orkney tourist guides have successfully completed the Orkney Regional Affiliate training course accredited by the Scottish Tourist Guides Association ("STGA") and have been awarded a Green Badge.
STGA is the accrediting body for professional tourist guides in Scotland and sets the criteria for the extensive and rigorous tourist guide training programme which strictly adheres to British and European standards. All members of STGA are subject to high standards of performance and a professional code of conduct.
11. What site admissions will I have to pay?
Site admissions are not included in Daily Tour price. Unless you are a Member of Historic Scotland or have purchased an Historic Scotland Pass, the following 2015 admissions will be payable while on tour:
Site Adult Senior Child
Maeshowe £5.50 £4.40 £3.30
Skara Brae £7.10 £5.70 £4.30
Adult: age 16 - 59 years
Senior: age 60+ years
Child: age 5 - 15 years
12. Do you stop for lunch?
We make a stop for lunch at a restaurant or café where guests may purchase a Taste of Orkney.
13. Do you run tours in the winter?
Our tours operate year-round.
14. How are your tours CarbonZero?
First, we minimise our carbon dioxide emissions by reducing, re-using and recycling whenever possible. Then, we offset the remaining CO2 footprint through contributions to projects in Africa which either prevent the release of, or absorb, an amount of CO2 equivalent to our carbon footprint.
In addition, we strongly encourage you to offset your travel within the UK for only £3.25. Simply choose this option at the time of making your booking with us. Your funds will be used to supply energy saving light bulbs to communities in East Africa as part of the Low Carbon Village Project managed by co2balance.com.
15. Are your tours appropriate for guests with restricted mobility?
We can provide you with detailed accessibility report to assist you in determining which tour is appropriate for you. Please contact us for further information.
16. What should I bring on tour?
- Sensible shoes (no heels, please)
- Waterproof jacket & warm jumper
- Camera, extra batteries and/or film
- Bottle of water
- Sense of adventure!
17. Can I bring my luggage on tour?
You are welcome to bring your luggage with you, which we can store in the boot of our vehicle.
18. Do you offer private tours?
We offer private and special interest adventures with custom designed itineraries for groups and individual travellers. Please contact us for further details or click here.
19. What type of vehicles do you use?
Daily tours are conducted in either our new executive 4 or 8-seat vehicles with panoramic windows. For larger groups a 16-seat executive mini coach, 33-seat executive midi coach and full size executive coaches are available for private tours and group tours.
20. Do you offer group tours?
We provide tours for groups of all sizes. If you have assembled your group of travellers, we would be happy to make all arrangements for your stay in Orkney and/or Shetland, from a simple day tour to a fully inclusive holiday.
21. Can my pet come on tour?
Unfortunately, we are unable to welcome pets on tour. Exceptions will be made for disability assistance dogs.
22. Is smoking permitted?
Smoking is not permitted on our tours, including on board our vehicles and during the guided visit at each site. We do, however, make frequent comfort stops throughout the day which should provide opportunities to smoke.
23. When should I make my travel arrangements to Orkney?
We strongly recommend that you do not commit to any travel arrangements before receiving our confirmation that your booking has been completed.