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Important Travel Information

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) (updated 31 July 2020)

Following Scottish Government guidance we have made changes throughout the company to control the spread of COVID-19.

Please see Transport Scotland’s advice on how to travel safely.

Details of our current boarding and on-board procedures follow. We hope this will provide assurance to passengers and staff that we are taking all necessary measures to protect public health whilst supporting the needs of the company and local community.

The booking system is open until 31st July 2021 and we would encourage passengers to book online via the website where possible.

If you need to change your booking, you can do so by activating an account in the booking area.

The pre-boarding information below will be emailed to passengers that have provided email addresses prior to travel.

PLEASE NOTE – With the easing travel restrictions, we no longer require passengers to complete an online form before you travel. However, if you are visiting Orkney, please make sure that you have pre-booked accommodation. For late bookings, check

What you should expect when booking and on arrival

All bookings are to be paid prior to travel, therefore if you have booked online using our website you do not have to do anything. If you have booked over the phone or by email you will have been asked for card details at the time of booking. These details have been securely stored and will be processed on the day when you arrive at the terminal.

Please do not check-in at the booking office.

Please advise at the time of booking if you require to use the lift on-board.

On arrival at the ferry terminals please join a queue. Please wait in your vehicle until someone comes to check you in and issues you a boarding pass.

We would ask that you avoid getting out of your vehicle but if you have to for smoking or walking the dog etc. please be mindful to keep your distance from other passengers and staff.

There are toilets facilities available at the St. Margaret’s Hope ferry terminal and in our terminal building at Gills Bay.

There is a hand sanitising station at the entrance to the terminal. We would ask passengers to return to their vehicles once they have used the facilities and maintain strict hygiene practises and social distancing at all times.

Disabled passengers requiring the lift will be asked to put their hazard lights on for boarding. Disabled toilet and baby changing facilities will be available at Gills Bay.

What you should expect while boarding

The Purser will direct you on to the ferry and our deckhands will guide you to a suitable location on the deck. There is only one stairwell open on the ship on the Port side. At the entrance there will be a hand-sanitising station and we would ask all passengers to use this before entering the ship. Our crew will be wearing face coverings during loading times, in addition to their usual PPE.

Note that the use of face coverings is now mandatory when moving around any internal areas of the ship. All passengers will be expected to comply with Transport Scotland’s advice on this and provide their own face covering.

What you should expect on-board

You will notice that some areas of the ship have been closed to the public and some tables and seats are restricted. This is to allow for social distancing between groups of passengers.

Our children’s play area is currently closed.

We still have designated tables and seats for disabled passengers and those with restricted mobility and these have been signposted accordingly.

Please be aware and practise social distancing at all times on the vessel.

We ask passengers to be mindful of other passengers when using the toilet facilities on-board and encourage stringent hand washing and hygiene practises.

Please practise social distancing whilst disembarking and we would encourage you to use the hand sanitising station on leaving the accommodation.

You are reminded that if you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not attempt to travel.

Thank you for your assistance at this time and choosing to travel with Pentland Ferries.