Marine Services, a division of Orkney Islands Council as the Competent Harbour Authority (CHA) is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the 29 piers and harbours located throughout the Orkney Islands under their jurisdiction and operate under the principles set out in the Port Marine Safety Code.

The range of ports and harbours within Marine Services are both varied and diverse; from the Oil Port of Scapa Flow that hosts multiple ship to ship transfer operations of crude oil and vessels serving the Flotta Oil Terminal, to the major harbours of Kirkwall and Stromness that receive on average 80 cruise Ships annually making Orkney the most popular cruise ship destination in the Uk, to the remote island facilities of North and South Isles which receive almost daily lifeline services from our fleet of 13 Inter Island Ferries carrying over 320,000 passengers annually.

Scottish mainland ro-ro ferry services via Northlink Ferries operate on a daily basis to the ports of Aberdeen, Lerwick from Hatston and Scrabster from Stromness; a container service operates twice weekly from Lerwick and Aberdeen to Kirkwall. Pentland Ferries operates from St Margaret’s Hope to Gills Bay in Caithness and operates both passenger and freight services.

In addition to the larger vessels using the port facilities, there is a strong commercial inshore fishing fleet located throughout the islands as well as the ever increasing pleasure craft fleet some of which call into our 3 Marinas in Kirkwall, Stromness and Westray.

Scotland's longest deep-water berth is located at Hatston just outside Kirkwall and is 385 meters long. The recent extension to the Hatston berth was part of a large investment by the Council and its funding partners resulting in a re developed berth at Lyness and a new pier, Copland's Dock in Stromness.

Marine Services provides all pilot launch and pilotage services directly as well as Vessel Traffic Services for Scapa Flow and approaches and the Kirkwall Harbour area. This information service is in operation 24/7/365.