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By Ferry

Ferries in Scotland

There are over 60 inhabited islands in Scotland and most of them have ferry links between the mainland and the other islands. Many of the ferry links carry pedestrians, cars and commercial vehicles and it is strongly recommended that you book in advance although you can just turn up and wait for the next one like catching a bus!

Taking the opportunity to use the ferry services will open up the opportunity to some of the most beautiful and dramatic scenery in Scotland and discover a different world.

Although there are many ferry operators across Scotland, the major ferry service providers are:

  • Caledonian MacBrayne - universally known as CALMAC. These ferries sail to twenty-four destinations on Scotland's West Coast; from Arran in the south to Lewis in the north.
  • Northlink operates from both Aberdeen and Caithness and travels to Orkney and Shetland. Daily sailings from Scrabster (near Thurso) to Stromness in Orkney and overnigh sailings from Aberdeen to Lerwick in Shetland - with some of these going via Orkney's capital, Kirkwall.
  • Pentland Ferries offer another route to Orkney from Gills Bay on the Caithness coast.
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