Is it less expensive to do the cruise excursions or to try and make up my own day itinerary?
The trouble would be getting yourself around the places you want to visit unless you hire a car or a taxi which would need to be done well in advance of your visit. For a very inexpensive alternative see the attached link.
Hire your own car for the day.
You do need to book in advance, but it is much the best way to get around, go where you want for half the cost of the cruise excursions.
Thanks so much for the advice! You've made me feel more confident about branching away from the cruise excursions!
Apart from the cost, there are other advantages in going independently. Think of the numbers of "cruise excursion" people arriving at an attraction - plan your visit at a different time and you could have far fewer people there and be able to spend an extra few minutes browsing in comfort.
We were advised of this when touring in Canada and often found ourselves in a group of 20/30 instead of 100/150.
we hired cars in several offshore islands, we found that with careful planning, we could pick our top spot to see, get there and have a good look around, then leave when the excursion buses caught us up. In several places we were the only one who had booked ahead, although lots of people said they wished they had thought of it.
Thank You Fuchsia for your car rental link. Trying to convince Hubby that this option would give us flexibility to see more sights.Further questions if you don't mind about Kirkwall.... if we rent a car for the day, is there an organized route around the island to see the major sites. I'm assuming the agency would give us a map. Approx. current cost to refill car with petrol, not sure what rates are in Scotland for Petrol vs. gas here in US
In looking at cruise ship excursion options if we go that route over car rental. There are 2 options that list similar yet different highlights of each 1/2 day tour. Option 1: Orkneys Archaeological Wonders(Standing Stones of Sternness, Ring of Brogdar, Skara Brae,Skaill House,Coastline of Scapa Flow)
If this was your 1 and only day here, which do you think would be the most memorable. They both look nice to me however I know there are sites we do not take in with these cruiseship tours, like the Italian Chapel, St. Magnus Church. Any advice you can provide is appreciated.
The few companies that offer the best all day independent excursions of Orkney/ Kirkwall are booked, so it comes down to rental car vs. 4 hour cruiseship tours.