Scotland has several major ferry terminals
connecting the country with Northern Ireland, Orkney and Shetland,
and the Continent.
There are also numerous minor ferry ports, many
not much more than simple slipways, serving Scotland's many
inhabited islands. This means there are over 50 ferry routes,
mainly up and down the west coast, such as between the mainland and
the Outer Hebrides.
Rosyth - Zeebrugge
A service run by Norfolkline between Fife and
Belgium, with three departures from each port every week. This is a
passenger and freight service.
Stranraer - Belfast
Stena Line connects Dumfries & Galloway in
the far south-west of Scotland, with Belfast in Northern Ireland.
This service takes from 2-3 hours depending on which craft you
Larne - Troon/Cairnryan
P&O Irish Sea runs a regular and fast service
from Ireland to Scotland, with crossings between Larne in Northern
Ireland and Troon (Ayrshire) or Cairnryan (Dumfries &
Ferries on the River Clyde and to the
Caledonian MacBrayne (generally abbreviated to
'CalMac') runs services on the River Clyde and to the Hebrides,
sailing to 21 islands altogether. They have two types of
If you're taking more than one ferry, it's worth
asking about the discounted Island Hopscotch tickets.
If you're going to be taking a lot of ferries,
you might be better off with an Island Rover, which entitles you to
8 or 15 consecutive days' unlimited ferry travel. It does not,
however, guarantee you a place on any ferry, so you still need to
Ferries to Orkney and
Car ferries to Orkney and Shetland from Aberdeen
and from Scrabster near Thurso are currently run by NorthLink
Ferries. Pentland Ferries run a car ferry from Gills Bay, near John
o'Groats, to St. Margarets Hope, Orkney, while John o'Groats
Ferries run a summer-only passenger ferry from John o'Groats to
Burwick in Orkney. The various Orkney islands are linked to each
other by services run by Orkney Ferries.