Pentland Ferries - Travel to the Orkney Islands - FAQs
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Frequently Asked Questions

The following applies during normal operations between St Margaret’s Hope and Gills Bay.

Do I need photographic ID to travel on the ferry?
No, we do not need to see any ID.

Can dogs travel on the ferry?
There is a dog-friendly indoor sun deck lounge on MV Alfred. We are exploring creating a covered area on the outer decks of the MV Pentalina to accommodate you and your dog. In the meantime, they can be left inside vehicles on the car deck.

Can I smoke on the ferry?
No, we operate a no smoking policy on all of the company vessels and within any company vehicles and buildings.

Can you send me a brochure?
Yes, you can request a brochure by phone or email

Why can’t I get through to your office on the telephone?
When our customer service advisers are busy in Orkney, calls are diverted to our staff in Gills Bay. Unfortunately, calls may not be answered when the office is busy with passengers prior to a crossing. Please call outwith sailing times or book here

Do you have any discounts for senior citizens or disabled people?
Orkney residents are entitled to four ferry vouchers, which are issued by the Scottish Government. Each voucher can be used for a single ferry crossing. Vouchers must be handed over at time of travel.

Can I pay by cheque?
Unfortunately, we can no longer accept cheques.

I have booked and paid over the internet and need to cancel my booking. What should I do?
Please contact us by phone or email to cancel your booking. To grant a full refund, cancellation requests must be made before 4pm the day prior to travel. Refunds can be given in the form of vouchers or a refund to the card used to purchase the tickets. Refunds due to sailings that are cancelled by Pentland Ferries will be negotiated with customers at time of cancellation. Please note refunds are processed once per week.

What cards can I use to make an online booking?
We accept Visa Credit, Visa Debit, Mastercard, Maestro Domestic and Maestro International.

Can you take wheelchairs on the ferry?
We have a wheelchair lift on the MV Alfred with access from the car deck up to the cafe and lounge. On MV Pentalina, we have a chair lift which can accommodate a wheelchair up to 225kg and will also have a stair climber, as a standby, for individuals with reduced mobility.

Please inform Customer Services at the time of booking so that we can position your vehicle in the correct space on the car deck at time of loading. Wheelchair passengers must check in 45 minutes prior to departure to allow sufficient time for pre-boarding. We regret that if we are not informed in advance of your requirements or if you arrive late for check-in we may not be able to accommodate your request on the day.

Where can I leave my car?
We have some parking facilities at Gills Bay and St Margaret’s Hope terminals. Both areas are equipped with CCTV, but owners are advised that vehicles are left at their own risk.

Can I purchase a ferry crossing as a gift?
Yes, we offer gift vouchers for all vehicle and passenger combinations. Please contact our office for more details.

How do I book travel using a discount or gift voucher?
If you are using any form of gift or discount vouchers (including Scot Exec vouchers), you cannot book online. Please contact the booking office direct. 

Can I carry a firearm and/or ammunition on the ferry?
Yes. However, it is a requirement that any firearm/shotgun transported on our vessels is supported by a relevant license. This should be made available for inspection, as requested by Pentland Ferries personnel (please note – no copies of certificates will be taken or held by Pentland Ferries).

All Firearms and Ammunition require to be declared at the time of booking. It is advisable to book any vehicles carrying ammunition a minimum of 24 hours in advance to ensure we can accommodate your booking. All firearms/ammunition have to be transported in a vehicle. Passengers who do not comply with the above or are discourteous to Pentland Ferries personnel will not be permitted to board the vessel.

Am I allowed to carry Diving Cylinders?
Yes, but there are certain procedures you must follow. Any receptacle which has previously contained Dangerous Goods, (including oxygen / compressed air), is regarded as Dangerous Goods until it has been certified as clean or gas free. Fully charged diving air cylinders can be shipped in the owner’s vehicle under the appropriate provisions of the IMDG Code on our services as a compressed gas with the appropriate documentation. A copy of the completed document must be forwarded to us no later than 24 hours prior to departure and the original document must be handed in at the port when travelling. Please see the link below for a copy of the form you will need to submit.

Download dangerous goods form (PDF)

Alternatively diving cylinders may be carried with valves fully open ensuring they are gas and pressure free. This means that you do not require any documentation in order to travel. Please contact our office for more details.

What should I do if I am carrying other forms of Dangerous Goods?
Please contact our office and they will direct your call to the appropriate person.