Have questions? We're here.
Travelers hiking through the Norwegian arctic.

Orkney & Shetland Islands

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard M/S Stockholm
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Scotland trip. 1.800.344.6118
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert
Embark on an adventure on board the M/S Stockholm! The Orkney and Shetland Islands offer their visitors spectacular nature, remarkable bird life, and fascinating history. Depart from Oban, Scotland and sail north, concluding in Bergen, Norway. This is a unique opportunity to reach several remote and exciting islands such as Fair Isle, Out Skerries, or Papa Stour.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Glasgow, Scotland
Day 2 : Embark in Oban
Days 3 - 9 : Expedition cruising
Day 10 : Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Day 11 : Bergen
Day 12 : Disembark in Bergen, Norway

Highlights

  • Encounter dramatic landscapes - volcanic cliffs, coastal caves, and arches
  • See the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae and its remarkable dwellings
  • Visit Fair Isle, one of the best places to see rare birds in Britain
  • Stroll the streets of Lerwick and explore the hanseatic city of Bergen

Ship

M/S Stockholm

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Travelers hiking through the Norwegian arctic. Explore the rugged hills of Scotland Small fishing village in Norway. Travelers bird watching while on a zodiac excursion. Voyage on foot across remote shores

Day 1 Glasgow, Scotland

Arrive in Glasgow and spend a night at a comfortable and centrally-located hotel. In the evening take time to explore this Scottish city on your own.

Day 2 Embark in Oban

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After lunch travel to Oban and board M/S Stockholm in the afternoon. Settle into your cabin and set course north – the expedition has started!

Day 3 - 9 Expedition cruising

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your exact itinerary depends on weather and wind conditions. Potential destinations include:

Summer Isles & Handa
Sail towards the Summer Isles and go ashore on the largest and the only inhabited island of the archipelago – Tanera Mòr. Those who walk up Meall Mòr, the highest point on the island, are rewarded with a magnificent view. Also visit the little post office that has issued its own postage stamps since 1970. Later, reach the small island Handa. During the summer season the island’s dramatic sandstone cliffs become home to an estimated 100,000 breeding seabirds such as puffins, razorbills and guillemots.

Sula Sgeir
The uninhabited and remote Island of Sula Sgeir is located in the midst of the sea and is known for its bustling birdlife. Here, you also find the ruins from a stone house called Taigh Beannaichte (Blessed House). If the sea is calm you might also get a chance to explore some of the caves along the coast.

North Rona
East of Sula Sgeir lies North Rona. Even more isolated and remote than St Kilda, it is also very hard to find on a map. North Rona is said to have been the home of Saint Ronan in the 8th century. A small Christian oratory that probably dates back to the same period stands almost intact. Today, gray seals and sea birds are the only inhabitants on the island.

Stromness & Kirkwall
In a private bus from the charming town of Stromness travel to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae and see the remarkable dwellings that were revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 160 years ago. This is the heart of Neolithic Orkney, designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Today it is western Europe’s best preserved prehistoric village. Continue to the Ring of Brodgar – a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5,000 years. Your day ends in Kirkwall, where you visit the beautiful St. Magnus Cathedral.

Fair Isle
Located halfway between Orkney and Shetland, this small island claims to be the best place to find rare birds in Britain, with at least 27 first records, and also hosts a famous bird observatory. Fair Isle is also a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colors.

Hermaness
The moorland and the dramatic cliffs of Hermaness are home to gannets, cormorants, guillemots, and puffins. Here, you also find a large colony of great skuas, known as the flying pirates. Even the giants are said to have settled here. Unfortunately a giant called Herman, the namesake of the island, is said to have been lured away by a mermaid…

Papa Stour
The island’s eroded, volcanic cliffs form an interesting coastline consisting of cliff ledges, stone columns, arches, blowholes and caves. The most famous cave is Kirstan Hol, and during a calm day it is possible to sail through its labyrinths. On the island you also find several Neolithic graveyards and what is said to be the remnants of a 13th-century house that belonged to Duke Hakon.

Out Skerries
If you look at a map it may be difficult to imagine that this small island is inhabited, but these four square kilometers of rock and pasture boast of more than 70 residents. The dramatic landscape, the birdlife, and the interesting history make a visit here unforgettable.

Noss
In the 1850s some 20 people lived on the island, but today it does not have any permanent inhabitants (not counting the sheep that graze here). The scenic sandstone cliffs of Noss are home to an array of nesting seabirds and if lucky you might see porpoise and otter in the surrounding waters.

Day 10 Lerwick, Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands. By strolling around the streets, you can feel the history that still dwells here. The town also houses a beautiful museum, where you get acquainted with the island's fascinating history and culture. Then head out to sea towards the Norwegian coast and beautiful Bergen.

Day 11 Bergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore the hanseatic city of Bergen, surrounded by high mountains and deep fjords. Popular sights include Bryggen Museum, the Bergenhus fortress, and the fish markets. Take the cable car up to the highest of Bergen´s seven mountains, Mount Ulriken, from where you get a spectacular view of the city.

Day 12 Disembark in Bergen, Norway

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning disembark and continue home. If you have time, take the Bergen Line to Oslo and experience one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.

M/S Stockholm

Per person starting at
$6,890
Your comfortable suite on the Stockholm
Select a Date
Twin Cabin
All six cabins are outside facing and feature twin beds with upper and lower berths. Cabins offer en-suite facilities.

Notes

Please note: The exact route will depend on the weather conditions and wildlife sightings. The places mentioned above are part of the planned itinerary but may be subject to change. Several of the islands are extremely exposed to weather and wind and the exact route is dependent on these factors. Your crew will always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Rate includes:
- 10 nights on board the M/S Stockholm
- 1 night in a hotel in Glasgow
- Transfer Glasgow - Oban
- All meals & beverages on board
- Experienced Expedition Leader and Guide - guiding ashore and talks on board
- All excursions and activities
- Customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
- Comprehensive information material before the expedition
- Illustrated post-expedition log

Not included:
- Flights to Glasgow and from Bergen
- Travel and cancellation insurance

Fuel Surcharge Policy:
The Stockholm reserves the right to change prices due to exceptional changes in costs for transports, fuel prices, taxes, fees or any other unforeseen cost incurred. The expedition price is based on a fuel price of USD $110 per barrel. 30 days prior to date of final payment an assessment of the fuel price will be performed, and a possible surcharge will be invoiced in conjunction with this.

Included

  • 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
Jenna F

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons
Us with our Maasai guide Dennis
Tailored to You
Tell us your travel interests, dreams and desires, then let our experts tailor the perfect trip for you!
Monks conversing in a Buddist temple
Peace of Mind
You can have confidence in our experts' dedication to traveler safety, comfort, & providing a seamless trip.
A pair of friendly sea lions
Responsible Travel
We are fully committed to low impact travel that not only preserves but gives back to the amazing places we visit.
A man photographs a King Penguin at only a few feet away.
Insider Access
Our personal expertise & experience, local partners in our destinations, & access to over 150 small ships are all invaluable to designing your unique journey.

Awards and Accolades

All News