NorthLink Ferries

NorthLink Ferries, Stromness: Address, Phone Number, NorthLink Ferries Reviews: 4.5/5

NorthLink Ferries
4.5
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Let NorthLink Ferries take you on a voyage of discovery to the islands of Orkney and Shetland. With NorthLink Ferries, travelling to Orkney and Shetland is more convenient than ever before. Choose from up to three sailings a day from Scrabster (near Thurso) to Stromness in Orkney and nightly sailings from Aberdeen to Lerwick in Shetland - with four of these sailings going via Orkney's capital, Kirkwall.
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4.5
646 reviews
Excellent
432
Very good
162
Average
31
Poor
4
Terrible
17

Laurie S
Elgin, UK99 contributions
Jun 2022
Used the Aberdeen - Lerwick route for the first time. I usually fly but decided to avoid the hassle of check in, security etc. etc. It was a good choice probably helped by the fact that both journeys were very calm.
Even though the ferry was full on the northern leg, it did not feel like that. There was plenty of space, the restaurant was busy but staff were pleasantly ensuring a swift throughput. The food choice is quite varied, the quality was good, the portions substantial and very fairly priced. I was equally and pleasantly surprised at the bar prices.
I had booked a pod which is similar to a business class aircraft seat (or so I'm told) and it was ok. I'm 6'6" tall so have low expectations as to comfort anyway!
Will definitely use this way to get to the Shetland Islands again although I don't know what my review would have been like had the weather been rough.
Written 17 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

rob j
31 contributions
Jun 2022
a tale of two ferry trips, same company same boats, different crews

bear in mind I have used Northlink since they started the North Isles service, so feel qualified to comment with some confidence

lets do it in reverse and start with the good/brilliant, we travelled south on the Hjatland, Lerwick to Aberdeen as a group of 12 with 7 cars, at a cost of over £5000, premium cabins

Check in was a delight , quick, easy, simple, one local lass handled all of the check in's for that sailing , so easy and simple

On board staff directed us to our cabins, all key cards worked, cabins spotless and WARM

We met up in the Magus lounge with our vouchers and bought drinks at the bar from about 17.30, at dinner we were all in one sitting at the invite of the steward, the menu and food were great, backed up with excellent service

we retired to the lounge for more drinks and a review of our time in Shetland, this trip would have been a 5 star, Thank you Hjatland crew

However, Northbound Aberdeen to Lerwick on the Hrossey, my first time visitors were disgusted with the service and treatment we got, or didn't get

To check our 7 cars and 12 people in took over 30 minutes, each passenger had to spell their names out, each car reg was checked, checked again with the check in person dodging in and out of the booth, a Norwegian registration was considered to be "incorrect" which held things up even more to the point where a very expensive Aston Martin overheated in the queue and had to be pushed in, we went to get water for this car , and then on my return was reprimanded by staff for leaving my car as it was due to be loaded

On board, no welcome, just "show me your boarding card" key cards did not work,

When we finally got into the cabins they were like ice, not just ours but all of them, we slept fully clothed, in June, in an attempt to keep warm, none of the heating controls appeared to work throughout the night despite our best efforts

Magnus lounge, despite having vouches for all my group, to were initially refused entry, after much discussion and to and froing entry was given, however the bar didn't open until after we had finished dinner at gone 7.00pm

Dinner, we were told that the service that night was 100% full and that we could not be accommodated in one sitting, so we had one for 6 at and early sitting and one for 6 later, only to find that they were plenty of spaces at either siting for at least another 6 people

Food, frankly was inedible and most went back

Northlink, WHAT IS GOING ON, this gave a dreadful impression of your service to first time users and first time visitors to Shetland

The old saying "your holiday starts in the boat" clearly applies no more

This passage would have got a 0 score
Written 10 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

dcjw700
Phoenix, AZ289 contributions
Jun 2022
Watching the sunset/twilight/sunrise all within a couple of hours. Pods were comfort able and secure.
We had calm waters for the entire 12 hours. The ride was as smooth as a train or plane ride. Dinner and breakfast were good and very inexpensive. Staff was amazingly friendly and professional.
Written 1 June 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi dcjw700, Thank you very much for your lovely review. Delighted to hear you enjoyed your journey, dinner and breakfast with us and found our crew friendly. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 14 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Roger W
Northamptonshire, UK41 contributions
May 2022
We tried all three main routes as part of our Island and Highland tour, and found the ship well maintained and the Scottish crew very professional and attentive.. especially the Hotel Director and our attendant in the Magnus Lounge. P&O could learn a thing or two from Northlink!

The cooked breakfast on the Scrabster / Stromness route was “chose what you want” and excellent value, as well as surprisingly tasty.
Written 17 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Roger W, Thank you very much for your lovely review. Delighted to hear you enjoyed your journey (and cooked breakfast!) with us and found the crew professional and attentive. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 14 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stephen C
Wollongong, Australia711 contributions
May 2022
Seamless first time experience with Nortlink from Scrabster over to Stromness, easy drive up process at terminal and short wait before boarding. Pretty sure we left a bit before schedule and crossing was a little longer than we thought possibly due to a bit of swell running which made me a little green in the gills for short time. Nice boat with great onboard facilities and well presented.
Disembarkation was just as efficient and hassle free.
Could not fault and Northlinks certainly satisfied the primary functions of a timely and safe passage.
Written 15 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Stephen C, Thank you very much for your review - we very much appreciate it. Great to hear you enjoyed your journey with us but sorry to hear you were a bit 'green about the gills' for a time! Hope that passed quickly. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 14 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

M Gilmore
Invergordon, Scottish Highlands, Scotland143 contributions
Mar 2022
We travelled from Aberdeen to Lerwick (and back) and had booked one of the premium cabins both ways.

On arrival at Aberdeen we were really impressed with how organised and efficient the checking-in process was. We had a vehicle and were given our boarding passes (which also open the door to the cabin), vouchers, and documents to display in the car. One of the staff then explained what we should do when on the car deck, including how to ensure the alarm would not go off for the entire journey! The process of getting on-board and parked was equally smooth and quick.

As part of the deal we had access to the Magnus Lounge, which was great. You come and go when you wish and there is free tea/coffee, cold drinks, fruit, and shortbread. You also get two vouchers each for alcoholic drinks. In addition, if you wish to have dinner you can do so in the dining part of the lounge and just order from there.

We were delighted with our cabin, which didn't feel cramped and had plenty of space for clothes, your bag, and a decent size bathroom. There's also a hospitality tray, which includes 2 locally made chocolates from The Larder in Lerwick which were delicious. Finally, there's a TV with a few live channels and some films to stream.

The only negative, for us, was the crossing; being March there were gales both evenings which made for high swells and extremely rough motion, particularly between Orkney and Shetland. To be fair though, that is beyond Northlink's control and we never felt unsafe nor did it cause any delays, surprisingly.

Because of the effects of the rough crossing we only managed to go to the Magnus Lounge for the (free) continental breakfast on the return journey, but were impressed by how much choice there was.

Overall (rough crossings aside) we really enjoyed the experience. All the staff were friendly and efficient, and everything was very well organised and smooth. It's great to arrive on Shetland early with a whole day ahead, and it's definitely worth booking a premium cabin not only to be comfortable - which was appreciated when we were feeling a little unwell due to the waves - but also for the extras which come with the access to the Magnus Lounge, and the chance to freshen up with a shower before disembarking.

We didn't get much sleep this time but, in fairness, on smoother seas the beds are comfortable enough that we likely would have slept through until the wake-up call at 6am.

We'd definitely use the ferry again for visiting Shetland, but perhaps when there was a better weather forecast!
Written 14 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi MGilmore19, Thank you very much for your lovely review. Much appreciated. We are delighted to hear that you were happy with the facilities on board and that you found the cabin space comfortable. Sorry to hear that you experience rough seas whilst travelling, we appreciate your understanding that there is little we can do about this and only hope you are able to return again for a smoother sailing. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 14 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kim P
Stirling, UK4 contributions
Jul 2021
Travelled from Scrabster to Stromness with family for summer holiday. Once on board heading for Stromness my husband realised he had lost his wallet. The onboard staff were very helpful and sent a message back to shore for a staff member to check out the vehicle check in area. When we arrived at out accommodation we received a phone call from Scrabster to let us know they had found the wallet and would have it sent over to us on the next ferry. This enabled us to enjoy the rest of our holiday on Orkney. Thank you and we will be travelling with you again.
Written 4 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi kpittaway01, Thanks for your review - much appreciated. Delighted to hear that your husbands wallet was found and you were able to enjoy your holiday in Orkney without the stress of a lost wallet! Kind Regards Victoria
Written 14 June 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jameshT3056CQ
5 contributions
Dec 2021 • Solo
Fancy a trip north? Shetlands grand, apart from one issue. The ferry....
Now if you are like me and not rolling in money you will have to avoid the £500ish return price for a plane ticket.
This leaves you with northlink ferries.
In the past, before COVID hysteria was in full swing, you could get a bed in a shared cabin for £35 quid and it wasn't half bad, unless you got stuck with some nutter.
But this has been done away with meaning if you want to sleep you have to fork out £109 for a single bed you will only get around 5 hours sleep in, and that's the one way price. I know, planes starting to look good now right?
You could opt for "the pods" i advise again this overpriced arm chair (£18 on top of the ticket) that i suspect the creator never actually attempted to sleep in, just read the other reviews.
So this leaves you with "roughing it". My advice secure a decent couch and brace yourself. Tho i will note the have added dividers to the seats to crack down on the peasants who will not pay for a room or sleep deprivation pod.
In the event that you get a decent spot the crew will be on hand to wake you, move you, or confiscate couch cushions in what i can only assume is some demented attempt to strong arm you into buying the aforementioned cabin or pod.

Now just when you thought your wallet had been pilfered enought, hold on, you still need to eat right? I wish to assure you now it is not local, and it is most certainly not "the best" so bring your own and save £15 per person.

So I'm short if you have the money to pay the extortionate room prices, rotten grub and can sleep through the noise and stroms then this is the boat for you.
If on the other hand you don't make six figures and cant sleep sitting up then tough, because there's no other way up here and northlink is well aware of this. They have nothing but contempt for the locals and view tourists and cash cows to be milked hard and then wonder why they don't come back.

Just take the plane for your sanity.
Written 28 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Matt T
11 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
I travelled to Orkney with my two dogs with Northlink. The only options travelling with your dogs is to leave them in your car, pay to put them in cages or be told quite rudely to stay outside with them (in the rain). Travelling can be stressful for dogs and no thought whatsoever is given to that by Northlink! I have travelled on many ferries to many Scottish islands and have never had any such problems with my dogs as areas are provided for you to sit and relax with your dogs with other ferry companies.

As a result of my not so good experience getting to Orkney, I have cancelled my return sailing with Northlink and booked with Pentland Ferries (which have an area for dogs) for my return journey and I will not be using Northlink Ferries ever again to get to Orkney.
Written 11 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Matt T, Many thanks for your review following your recent trip with us. Can I take this opportunity to highlight we are happy to welcome animals onto our ferries, with various options available to accommodate customers travelling with a pet, they are however, not permitted in the internal public areas of the ship. You are correct that one of the offered option is to leave your pet in the vehicle (ventilated) for the duration, as they may be more comfortable in familiar surroundings, and have found this to be the preferred option for many of our customers on the short Scrabster to Stromness route. There are however other options available where animals can stay with you in a pet-friendly cabin, in one of our kennels, or why not remain on the outer deck to admire the views from the Old Man of Hoy. For more information on travelling with pets, please visit our website [https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/the-journey/travelling-with-pets/]. Thanks again for taking the time to write a review, we appreciate all feedback from our customers. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 12 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hols2014
Slough, UK160 contributions
Sep 2021
Good staff and information. We knew there had been a bit of a storm overnight. The ferry was delayed from Stromness by 2 hours. The journey once into the Pentland Firth was horrible. The boat was moving in all directions and at one point a huge wave hit us and the boat tipped at least 30 degrees. Many people were ill but crew were stationed outside on rear deck to keep an eye. Passengers were told to sit inside but the experience was horrible. Orkney is amazing- not sure that they like tourists- but the journey for me- who has sailed a lot- is a definite no!
Written 2 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Hols2014, We are very sorry to hear you experienced a rough journey with us. Forecasts can be very unpredictable at this time of the year, however passenger safety is always a priority and sailings will be delayed or cancelled if conditions are unsafe. Kind Regards Victoria
Written 12 November 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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