Getting to Scapa itself is dependent on where you are coming from.
There are two ways of doing it if you chose to drive here.
The Scrabster – Stromness Ferry is the most popular and probably the most straight forward way of doing this trip. Scrabster is the port itself, Thurso is the town just up the hill from it. Thurso has a good selection of shops, pubs, bars and a nightclub.
There are a plethora of places to stay, but I would recommend Pennyland B&B, booking is essential as this is a very popular place.
We have also had positive reviews from these guys Liz & Michael O’Donnel.
Or if you fancy a hotel, try Pentland Lodge House!
The Ferry from Scrabster to Stromness.
The route is operated by Northlink Ferries, and you can book on as a group. You can leave your cars on the mainland, there is a pay and display car park, or a few free spaces on the roadside if you are quick! Cost is around £32 per person return. If you book on as a group you can book two containers (one per 6 divers) container for all your equipment. These are delivered to the ferry terminal and will be full of kit belonging to divers who are returning from Orkney.
As you approach the terminal itself you will see to the right an area for cars to wait to board the ferry. To the left is a weigh bridge and large open tarmac area. This is where the containers are dropped off. Please allow the other divers to unload their kit. The ferry is hardly going to leave without you since you have a load of their containers, there is no hurry! The long stay car park is opposite the Ferry Inn, and costs around £25 per week per vehicle. However, there are a few free spaces along the roadside, but these are totally at your own risk. Once you have your kit loaded, go and park your car and head back to the ferry terminal.
The ferry is large and comfortable, with onboard bar and cafe. Dependant on the weather, the ferry will either head to the west of Hoy, where you can see the Old Man Of Hoy, or if it is rough, will head East and actually sail up through the flow.
Once in Stromness, the ferry terminal is close to the harbour where all the dive boats reside. The containers with your kit will be unloaded and left in the car park next to the ferry terminal, but again, there is no massive hurry. The containers have wheels on them, so you can wheel them around the harbour to the boat and stow all your stuff. Please return the empty containers to the terminal.
Stromness Ferry Terminal
Scrabster Ferry Terminal