Getting to Orkney Islands

Jan 5th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Getting to Orkney Islands


My hubby is planning a scuba diving trip to the Orkney Islands in Scotland and we are trying to figure out the best way for him to get there. He would like to flying into Kirkwall but the plans that fly into there are rather small and he wont be able to bring all the luggage he needs for the dive trip. Any suggestions on the best way to get there? Is flying into Aberdeen and taking the long ferry ride the best option? We are open to any and all suggestions. Thanks
jiffer21225 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2011, 06:26 PM
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I'd fly into Inverness myself and rent a car there, drive up to the ferry and then drive back down to I'ness to fly out.

But if he doesn't want a car -- he can take a train or coach from Inverness up to the north coast and ferry across.
janisj is online now  
Jan 5th, 2011, 06:42 PM
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Flying into Inverness is my suggestion as well. And you can use car/bus/train to get to the ferry.

Inverness is beautiful, and he'll be in the vicinity of Loch Ness, if he is interested in visiting.
Smart3 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 06:45 AM
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where are you coming from? And when? I suspect the Aberdeen option may be the easiest.
sheila is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 10:00 AM
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Car to the ferry and take it over (don't leave it on the mainland key side)
bilboburgler is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 12:06 PM
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He will be flying out of baltimore or washington dc. I think he is concerned that some of the flights to the smaller airports are on smaller planes and he will need to take 2 checked bags and 2 carryons. One of the carryon will be a briefcase.
jiffer21225 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 02:11 PM
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You can fly direct to Glasgow with Icelandair (or with US Air if you come from Philly). Flights from Glasgow to Kirkwall are operated by Flybe.

Flybe's website saysbr />
Flybe Economy Plus passengers can carry up to 40 kilos free of charge.

Flybe Economy passengers can pay in advance for bags at a discounted rate. The allowance varies according to the option selected:

A Small bag allows you to carry one bag weighing up to 15 kilos
A Medium bag allows you to carry one bag weighing up to 20 kilos
If you purchase Extra Kilos you may carry one bag weighing up to 23 kilos
By Going Large you can carry 2 bags weighing up to 40 kilos in total
The maximum permissible weight, for health and safety reasons, for any single item of checked in baggage is 30 kilos.

You can get full details herebr />

Hand baggage
You may carry 1 piece of hand baggage on board the aircraft. The maximum permitted dimensions (please ensure that you include the bag's handles and wheels) for this item are 50 x 35 x 23cm and it should not exceed 10 kilos in weight. If you are travelling in Flybe Economy Plus you may also carry a laptop.

Would this cover your husband?

I think it would be a pain to try to drive with all that stuff immediately after landing, but, for sure, I'd take the long ferry if it was at a good time of year, if I were to try it.

I think flights straight through is the better option if he can make it work.
sheila is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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i checked with flybe and the price for plus is $350 thats kind of pricey
jiffer21225 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2011, 03:36 PM
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I have heard such negatives about Flybe that I'd be very wary about using them. From Inverness you can get a train to Thurso which is just a couple of miles from Scrabster where the Northlink Ferry departs for Stromness. The train ride is about 4 hours, and the ferry has several departures daily, the trip taking about an hour and a half. Depending on coordination of train, taxi and ferry departure times, it may well end up being about the same as taking the 8 hour ferry from Aberdeen. But, of course, the ferry from Aberdeen actually stops at Kirwall, where landing at Stromness still means a 30 minute bus/taxi ride. I think I'd opt for sailing from Aberdeen.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 7th, 2011, 04:15 AM
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>>>I have heard such negatives about Flybe that I'd be very wary about using them.<<<

Such as? I've made 21 return flights with FlyBe in the past 4 years and have always found them to be a professional and reliable operation.

The Economy Plus is not necessarily the best solution here - just pay for the checked luggage in Economy class.
Gordon_R is offline  
Jan 7th, 2011, 04:34 AM
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I've also found Flybe very good.....

Don't Continental fly direct to Glasgow also?
alihutch is offline  
Jan 7th, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Please note and read carefully my comments. I did not say I would not use Flybe; I just commented that I'd be "wary". That essentially ( at least for me) means I'd research the airlines and reviews amd compare times and costs of flights and ferry then determine which best fits my needs.

Most of my views on Flybe have come from various websites that review airlines. I did this several months ago when considering a flight from LHR/Gatwick to Southampton. Skytrax reviewers gave it 3.7 out of 10, the Review Centre gave the airline a 2 out of 5 and another review forum gave it low to fair marks. It is always difficult to critique these things as people have diffent experiences and thus a different view.

I do think the extra cost of $350 for luggage should be a consideration. If it were me, I'd check ferry times and costs and flight times and costs as well as the amount of time involved for each option and then determine which would be the best way to proceed.
historytraveler is online now  
Jan 13th, 2011, 05:11 AM
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I think that $350 is pretty steep.

You can do it for about £100 by train and ferry without a car. Pain in the ass, but.

Nothing wrong with Flybe.
sheila is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 06:07 AM
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Flybe are good and give you things like seat selection and dont' really operate as a 'budget' airline. Suspect that most people who give reviews on airline review sites do it becaause they've had a bad experience, so it's not a representative sample.
alihutch is offline  

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