From the ship in Kirkwall, you'll head out along the coast near the Scapa Flow naval base. You will hear dramatic stories of World War I and II that make this one of the best-known stretches of water in the world. The series of causeways, called the Churchill Barriers, which link the southern isles, were originally built from cement blocks to protect the eastern approaches of Scapa Flow following the sinking of HMS Royal Oak in 1939. Now surfaced with a roadway, they provide vehicle access to the islands, which were previously connected only by ferry.
On Lamb Holm you'll visit the beautifully hand-painted Italian Chapel. Known as the miracle of Camp 60, this remarkable structure was built by Italian prisoners during World War II. The chapel has been preserved and maintained for its historical connection with the soldiers from Italy.
From here, continue south to the island of South Ronaldsay and on to the pretty village of St. Margaret's Hope. Local legend has it that the village is named after Margaret, Maid of Norway, who died near here on her way to marry King Edward II of England. However, she was never a saint. The coach will stop here and you can do a little shopping at the excellent Craft Workshop or wander through the historic streets. Afterwards, you will drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour is primarily panoramic in nature with limited optional walking at the stops. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able-bodied companion to assist them. Weather appropriate clothing; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.