Conditions of Carriage
Passengers should note that all travel is governed by our Conditions of Carriage, these reservation
details are to be read in conjunction with our Conditions of Carriage which are available from
Alternatively, these are available in pamphlet form on request from our ships and offices. Passengers should ensure they are familiar with these terms and conditions.
Reservations are confirmed once payment for the full value of the booking is received. The issue of a quotation will not guarantee availability of space at point of booking.
Commercial Vehicle Check-in
Customers should note that check-in for HGV vehicles closes 60 minutes prior to scheduled departure times at Stromness, Scrabster and Hatston. For Aberdeen and Lerwick, check in closes 90 minutes prior to scheduled departure time.
Checking in for the ferry
NorthLink Ferries operates a ticketless system with the key to your journey being the unique booking confirmation number. Please have this with you at check-in. Please also note the advertised check-in and opening times for your chosen port or departure/route. Boarding passes are available for collection from 11:00am on the day of travel from our port offices. Please note that if lost, passengers will be required to wait until the end of check-in to board. Final boarding is 30 minutes prior to departure for all passenger vessel sailings.
Checking in at Lerwick and Aberdeen
Check-in commences two hours prior to departure. Car drivers are recommended to check-in at least one hour prior to departure. All passengers disembarking at Kirkwall are asked to retain their boarding card during the voyage for use as a landing pass on arrival.
Checking in at Kirkwall (Hatston)
Check-in commences two hours prior to departure. Car drivers are recommended to check-in at least one hour prior to departure. Foot passengers should note that the Kirkwall (Hatston) Terminal is situated two miles out of town. As the call at Hatston will always be part of a ‘through’ sailing between Aberdeen and Lerwick, the ship will arrive in port approximately 45 minutes before the scheduled departure. Boarding will only commence after all passengers and vehicles have disembarked from the incoming vessel.
Checking in at Stromness
Check-in for the 06:30 sailing will open 60 minutes prior to departure. Passengers who have reserved an overnight cabin should check-in and board for the morning sailing from Stromness between 21:30 – 23:30 the previous evening. For all other sailings check-in will open 90 minutes prior to departure.
Checking in at Scrabster
Check-in will open 90 minutes prior to departure. Foot passengers are required to check-in at the foot passenger terminal situated at the ferry berth on the new pier. Passengers arriving at the old pier should allow appropriate time to make their way to the foot passenger check-in terminal on the new pier (some 800m distance).
Passengers are advised to take only hand luggage required for their crossing onto the ship. Other luggage should be left in the car or if travelling on foot, may be placed on the luggage trolleys on arrival at the passenger terminal. The trolleys will be loaded onto the vehicle deck with luggage made available for collection on arrival at the destination port. Maximum baggage weight is 30kg. Bulky or overweight baggage will be carried only at the discretion of the local service manager and may be subject to charge. Left luggage facilities may be available at certain ports subject to security regulations. Customers wishing to do so are advised to contact us prior to their travel to check availability.
Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult when travelling. Infants cannot be booked into shared cabins and we would request that those wishing to book young children into shared cabins or sleeping pods show appropriate consideration to fellow passengers.
Travelling with Animals
With the exception of support dogs, animals are not allowed in public areas including our cabins. Kennel facilities are available on board passenger vessels and can be booked in advance. Pets must be kept on a lead at all times when on company property and any associated waste should be cleaned up by owners. Further information on travelling with animals.
NorthLink Ferries does not offer secured long-term parking. In Orkney and Shetland parking associated with ferry terminals are operated by the local harbour authority. In Aberdeen there are several car parks available near the terminal. At Scrabster, the long stay parking area is operated by the local harbour trust and is situated around 800m from the passenger terminal on the pier (01847 892779).
Customers wishing to leave their car and travel as foot passengers should be aware of the time required to move between the car park and the terminal. We recommend that those leaving their car, drop off passengers and any luggage to be taken on board at the terminal on the pier before parking up and making their way back to foot passenger check-in.
Passengers should make relevant enquiries into onward transport connections and ensure their choice of sailing is suitable for their needs prior to booking. At Scrabster and Stromness, not all sailings connect with onward public transport and you should check timetables before confirming your choice of sailing. Aberdeen ferry terminal is a 10 minute walk from the bus and rail stations. The 727 JET Bus operates from the NorthLink Terminal travelling on to Aberdeen International Airport. Lerwick terminal is at Holmsgarth at the edge of town, a 15 minute walk from the centre. Hatston terminal is also on the edge of Kirkwall, a 30 minute walk from the centre, but is served by a connecting bus. For details on all bus services in association with Ferry arrivals and departures visit the individual port webpages above.
National Concession Scheme
Passengers seeking to travel under the National Concession Scheme must submit valid vouchers at their first port of departure when checking in. Failure to do so prior to travel will result in full fares being charged.
Passengers appearing under the influence of alcohol or drugs at check-in cannot expect to be allowed to board the vessel. Similarly, while our bars and restaurants do serve alcohol during sailings, our staff are authorised to refuse to serve alcohol to anyone whose behaviour may cause offence to other passengers or who may be deemed to be putting themselves, staff or fellow passengers at risk. Our terminals and vessels are entirely non-smoking including e-cigarettes in all public indoor areas. On board our ships there are designated smoking areas on the outside decks. Within our Conditions of Carriage there is an implicit expectation as to the standard of behaviour expected of passengers on board.
Prohibited Items & Dangerous Goods
A number of types of items which have a potential to cause harm are prohibited to be carried on board. Certain dangerous goods and firearms can be carried onboard however they are required to be declared in advance to comply with the IMDG code and Merchant Shipping regulations. Full information on this is available on the Prohibited Items & Dangerous Goods page or from our offices.
Securing Cargo & Lashing Guidelines
All commercial vehicles over 3.5t require suitable lashing points. For further details please see freight.northlinkferries.co.uk
NorthLink Ferries, its employees and/or agents shall be entitled to undertake searches of passengers, luggage, goods, commercial vehicles and/or unaccompanied vehicles carried or to be carried on their vessels to ensure the safety and welfare of its vessels, passengers, crew and cargo.
Dry Dock Period
Schedules may be altered to accommodate dry dock and refit arrangements. Variations to schedules will be advertised in advance.
NorthLink Ferries strongly recommends that all passengers carry appropriate insurance. In the event of disruption to sailing schedules NorthLink Ferries follow the legislative requirements detailed for passenger rights under EU Regulation 1177/2010 when travelling by sea and inland waterway. Please see our Conditions of Carriage for details on the limitations of our liability in the event of delay or cancellation.
A range of newspapers and magazines are now available digitally onboard our vessels. To make use of this offering please ensure you have downloaded and installed the PressReader app on your device.