Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Internal Ferry Services.

Internal ferry services are operated by Orkney Ferries Limited between the Orkney mainland and thirteen of the smaller islands.

South Isles

To the south, the mv Hoy Head serves Flotta and Hoy and the mv Graemsay serves Graemsay and Moaness in the north of Hoy. The inner isles of Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre are served by the mv Eynhallow, while Shapinsay is served by the mv Shapinsay.

North Isles

The six outer north isles are served by the mv Earl Sigurd, mv Earl Thorfinn and the mv Varagen. Details about Orkney Ferries services are available from the Orkney Ferries Limited website in the Related Sites section or by Telephone on 01856872044.

Process for Setting Timetables

Residents are reminded that the draft inter-island air and ferry service timetables are presented to the Community Councils for consideration in advance of the Air and Ferry Consultative Forums, held biannually.

A transport representative is elected from each island Community Council to attend the Forums to outline the requests from the community in respect of the proposed timetables for the following summer or winter. These meetings are generally held in August, to discuss the future summer timetable, and during February to discuss the winter timetable for the following year. The timetables are then finalised, taking into consideration the points raised at the Forum where possible. A report is then presented to the Orkney Ferries Board with the final draft timetables for consideration. Subsequently, a report is presented to the Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee (September and March of each year), outlining the points raised at the Forum, the Orkney Ferries Board and any significant amendments proposed to the timetable. The Committee are asked to consider and then approve the ferry timetables for the following summer/winter. In respect of the air services timetable, a similar report is presented to the Development and Infrastructure Committee for consideration and approval however the report must be presented to Full Council for final approval.

Any special timetable requests by the community, for example to coincide with island events during the year, must be raised by the transport representative at the forum so that these can be considered before the timetables are finalised. Once the timetables have been presented to Committee/Full Council and have been approved, then the timetables are passed to the operators to upload onto their booking system. Please note that timetable changes cannot be considered by Orkney Ferries or the Transportation Service after the timetables have been officially approved unless in exceptional circumstances.

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