A RO/RO ferry also travels from Aberdeen , North West Scotland calling at Kirkwall on the way to Shetland.
There is also a passenger only ferry that operates during the Summer Season that goes from John O'Groats to Burwick with connecting buses to Kirkwall. This is the quickest way to get from the mainland to the Southern tip of the Orkney Islands but the crossing may be affected by weather conditions.
Awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1999, the ''Heart of Neolithic Orkney'' includes:
Skara Brae, 30km west of Kirkwall , the best-preserved prehistoric village in Western Europe, inhabited before the pyramids of Egypt were built. 2009 Admission: adult £6.70, child £3.35, concessions £5.30. Prices include admission to Skaill House April to September. Admission to Skara Brae reduced October to March.
Maeshowe, 14km west of Kirkwall , finest chambered tomb in north-west Europe, which contains the best collection of Viking runes outside Scandinavia. Advance booking required. 2009 Admission*: adult £5.20, child £2.60, concessions £4.20
Ring of Brodgar, 16km west of Kirkwall , amazing stone circle with henge ditch. Free admission.
Standing Stones of Stenness,  one of the oldest stone circles in Britain. Free admission.
Orkney's World Heritage site also includes a number of unexcavated burial, ceremonial and settlement sites.