Travel to Shetland by Ferry from Aberdeen
Shetland is now better served by ferries than ever before, with departures seven nights a week in both directions on the Aberdeen-Lerwick route all year round, with three calls a week at Kirkwall, Orkney, en route. For full details and bookings visit the Northlink Ferries website.
Advantages of Travelling by ferry:
- Because the 12-13 hour crossing is overnight, you gain two days on your Shetland holiday - days when you'd otherwise be travelling to airports, hanging around to check in - and typically spending more time on the ground than in the air.
- It's usually less expensive by ferry - especially for family groups.
- It's a more relaxed way to travel, with good food and entertainment available on board, wonderful views and the chance to meet new friends.
- You can take the car with you (and your dog!)
- There's a good chance of seeing dolphins or porpoises from the ship, as well as myriads of seabirds.
The two 'cruise ferries' on the route - the Hjaltland and the Hrossey - are very comfortable boats with an extremely punctual service: you'll be in Lerwick at 7.30am on the dot (although you don't have to leave the ship until you've enjoyed a leisurely breakfast).
Things To Do In Shetland Isles
Shetland is a great place for an active family holiday. There's something for everyone - from mountain biking to trout fishing, scuba diving to round-the-clock golf. With 19 hours of midsummer daylight, Shetland can keep you active all day long.
Shetland is famous as a world-class location for bird watching, as well as seal and otter spotting. The several wildlife reserves located in Shetland are testament to the islands' pristine environment. Shetland is even home to unique species which have adapted to the islands, such as the wonderful miniature Shetland ponies. Its more than 100 sites of geological interest have earned Shetland membership of the Global Geoparks Network and with over 1,500km of coastline and 138 sandy beaches, spectacular scenery is around every corner.
Shetlanders have always travelled far and wide. Today Shetland attracts many visitors looking to trace their genealogy back through the islands. Muness Castle The quality and importance of Shetland's archaeological sites was recognised by the 2006 Rough Guide to Scotland: Mousa broch was named as Scotland's top visitor attraction and Jarlshof third!
Shetland has a rich cultural heritage, embodied in the spectacular Up-Helly-Aa Viking fire festival. Shetland retains many Scandinavian features, strengthened by wartime links with the resistance in Norway. The jewel of Shetland's culture is the islanders world-famous aptitude for music, particularly with the fiddle.
Crafts & Shopping
Shopping in Commercial Street Shetland businesses produce many fine goods, such as handmade fiddles, jewellery, leatherwork and traditional natural soap. Why not see what's on offer by taking a relaxing stroll though Commercial Street, the pretty old town shopping street in the centre of Lerwick.
There are numerous annual festivals and events in Shetland every year, with something to satisfy almost every taste. Amongst the first of the annual events is the Lerwick Up Helly Aa, the largest of the islands' fire festivals, which takes place on the last Tuesday of January, then the world-famous Shetland Folk Festival, offering an eclectic international programme, runs for four days around the beginning of May. A month or so later - around midsummer - we have the Bergen-Shetland Races.