1. What is an "Independent" Holiday and why are there no departure dates listed?
The independent holiday style affords you the freedom to enjoy your holiday at your own pace.
We provide the itinerary and advise the best day of the week for your departure, and you choose the actual departure date. We book your hotel, daily tours, ferry sailings, land transport, and more (see each holiday's individual list of inclusions). You explore Orkney and/or Shetland on small group tours lead by a variety of local driver-guides and shared with other guests, but not necessarily the same guests each day as you are not on an escorted group tour.
As our holidays are not escorted group tours and availability on the islands is limited, we do not block-book supplies. Availability is confirmed with each supplier as and when each individual enquiry is received and bookings are made for you alone. Therefore, once your deposit is received, your independent holiday departure is guaranteed except under extenuating circumstances beyond our control.
Although you will be discovering our islands independently, you will never truly be alone. A member of our team is available to you 24-hours a day should you require assistance at any point during your holiday.
2. How far in advance should I book?
Orkney & Shetland are very popular destinations which is why we recommend that you book as far in advance as possible. Book early to avoid disappointment and to SAVE on the price of your Independent Holiday. Please consult our Special Offers for further information.
Please note that bookings made within 21 days of departure are subject to a late booking fee.
3. Is my independent holiday departure guaranteed?
Once your deposit has been received, your departure is guaranteed except under extenuating circumstances beyond our control. Also, the outstanding balance for your independent holiday must be received at least eight (8) weeks prior to your departure date.
4. Is my holiday protected financially?
In accordance with "The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations1992" all passengers booking with Wildabout Orkney are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Wildabout Orkney.
There is no requirement for Financial Protection of day trips, and none is provided. This insurance is only valid for packages booked that DO NOT include flights.
Consumer aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. - This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Wildabout Orkney. If you have booked and/ or paid direct to a Travel Agent for a holiday with Wildabout Orkney please request proof of how the booking is secured. For further information please go to www.ipplondon.co.uk. This Insurance has been arranged by International Passenger Protection Limited and underwritten by Insurers who are members of the Association of British Insurers & Lloyds Syndicates.
Claims procedure: Download Claims Form from www.ipplondon.co.uk. Any occurrence which may give rise to a claim should be advised within 14 days to International Passenger Protection Limited, Claims Office, IPP House, 22-26 Station Road, West Wickham, Kent BR4 0PR, United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8776 3752 / Fax: +44 (0) 20 8776 3751. In order to deal promptly with any claim hereunder it is essential that you retain all bills, receipts and other documents relating to your travel arrangements. Claim forms must be submitted within six months of date of insolvency. We cannot consider or pay claims received after this date.
5. What size are the groups on the daily tours?
All daily tours are conducted with a maximum of 8 guests.
6. What type of accommodation is provided?
We have carefully selected locally-owned hotel accommodations, all of which meet a minimum standard of at least 3 stars in accordance with VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Scheme. Private facilities are provided as standard.
7. Do you charge a single supplement?
Our prices are based on two guests sharing and there is a supplement for single guests.
8. If I am a single traveller, can I share a room?
We do not find room mates for land accommodations as each enquiry is made for you personally, without anyone else in mind.
If you are travelling overnight on the cruise ferry (Kirkwall – Lerwick, Lerwick – Aberdeen or Kirkwall - Aberdeen), you may request a shared ensuite outer twin berth cabin. This option is subject to availability.
9. What is the difference between a double room and a twin room?
A double room contains one double bed and a twin room has two single beds.
10. Are your Independent Holidays carbon neutral?
Our Independent Holidays are carbon neutral. 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, our Independent Holidays include an offset of £3.25 for travel within the UK. These funds are used to supply energy saving light bulbs to communities in East Africa as part of the Low Carbon Village Project managed by co2balance.com.
11. What is the Holiday Concierge Service and how do I make use of it?
This service provides the opportunity for you to benefit from our wealth of local knowledge and to make the most of your holiday.
Your personal Holiday Concierge can book your table at the best restaurants and cafés, arrange transfers, provide maps and guide books, recommend the best shops, reserve your seats for evening entertainment or deliver champagne and flowers to your room and more. To take advantage of this service, simply let us know your requirements at the time of booking your Independent Holiday. If requested at a later date, a minimal service charge may apply.
12. Do you offer group holidays?
We offer holidays for groups of all sizes. If you have assembled your group of travellers, we would be happy to design your itinerary and make all the necessary bookings. Alternatively, you may select one of our Independent Holiday itineraries which can be tailored to your requirements.
13. Must I select one of your “ready-made” itineraries?
Our holidays are available as is or can be used as a basis for your own custom designed itinerary. Simply tell us your requirements and we will forward a proposal for your consideration. Our tailor-made holiday service will incur a non-refundable charge of £50.00 plus VAT.
14. Are your Independent Holidays appropriate for guests with restricted mobility?
We can provide you with information to assist you in choosing an appropriate holiday. Please contact us for further details.
15. Do you offer points of departure other than Aberdeen, Scrabster and Inverness?
We would be happy to arrange your train or coach travel from other locations in the UK.
16. When should I make my travel arrangements to get to the point of departure?
We strongly recommend that you do not commit to any travel arrangements before receiving our confirmation that all your holiday bookings have been completed.
17. Why do you ask for my year of birth?
We request this information to comply with the legal requirement that the cruise ferry passenger manifest must indicate the name, age group and gender of every passenger.
18. Do I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase comprehensive travel insurance for peace of mind and protection against the unexpected.
19. When will I receive my travel documents?
We will forward your documents at least 21 days prior to departure.
20. What should I bring?
- Sensible shoes (no heels, please)
- Waterproof jacket & warm jumper
- Camera, extra batteries and/or film
- Bottle of water
- Sense of adventure!