Cruise Experience

As one of Europe’s last untouched natural habitats, the Outer Hebrides offers visitors an experience they will never forget.

Whether strolling across white sand beaches or among the shadows of 5000-year-old standing stones, the history of the island is a constant presence. From Geology to Christianity, the Outer Hebrides have a diverse, fascinating history and heritage and something to interest everyone. The port receives an average of 15,000 cruise ship passengers every year and is a popular port of call for cruise ships in Scotland. The Port has extensive parking and marshalling areas for bus trips and is an ideal point from which to explore the islands of Lewis & Harris. Stornoway Port Authority is a member of Cruise Scotland, Cruise Lines International Association and Cruise Europe

Our Ambassadors

The Stornoway Cruise Ambassadors were originally established in 2012 under the umbrella of the Stornoway Port Authority.

They are now an autonomous group which continues to grow in number. The aim of the group is to “meet and greet” disembarking passengers and crew from all cruise vessels berthing in Stornoway Harbour. They distribute to all a brochure incorporating maps of the town and the island showing key tourist locations such as Lews Castle, Callanish Stones, Carloway Broch, Black Houses as well as details of the local road network. Satisfaction is high around 95%, with very few complaints raised. 

Attractions and Tours

Popular attractions and tours include:

Callanish Stones

These towering stones – built before Stonehenge – are an awe-inspiring sight and offer a glimpse into the determination and strength of our ancestors. Constructed from the Gneiss around 3000 years ago, the reason behind their existence is still unknown but the breath-taking sight of the standing stones, some of which are up to five metres tall attracts thousands of visitors to the islands every year. The Visitor Centre provides refreshments for those keen to get a closer look at the stones, and also features a gift shop and exhibition about the history of the standing stones.

Whatever the weather, a visit to the stones is always stunning.

Butt of Lewis

At the far northern tip of Lewis you’ll find the Butt of Lewis – the furthest north you can get in the Outer Hebrides, and what feels like the edge of the world. If you carry on north from here then your next stop would be the Arctic, go west and it’s Newfoundland in Canada.
On a sunny day when the sea is calm, the endless views out into the ocean from its steep 60- to 80-foot-high cliffs take your breath away.

There to guard passing ships on a stormy night is the Butt of Lewis lighthouse built around 1860 . This red brick lighthouse is a bit unusual in this part of the world – most of the lighthouses in the Outer Hebrides are painted white. It was built in the 1860s back when there were no roads out here, so all the materials to built it had to be brought in by boat.  The lighthouse took three years to build and stands at 30 metres high.

Carloway Broch

Carloway Broch is located above Loch an Duin on a rocky knoll in a good defensive position. A Broch is an Iron Age structure designed to impress and defend and were probably the homes of clan leaders and important members of the community.
They are built with two concentric walls of stone, with a stairway or gallery within the walls to the upper floors.
The Broch at Carloway is one of the best preserved in the Hebrides and dates back over 2000 years.  It is approximately 9 metres high and 15 metres in diameter. A Broch is a very resilient structure and was often used for defence.

Gearranan Village

Gearrannan is a black-house village on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. It’s a great experience to visit this place and step back in time to see how life was in a typical crofting township of the last century.
Nowadays the Black House village consist mainly of self catering cottages but there is a nice wee museum where you can usually find the friendly man below on his loom weaving the famous Harris Tweed.

Iron Age house in Bernera

Nearby to Uig, in the area of Bosta, lies an Iron Age village dating from 600-700AD. The site was uncovered in 1992 after a severe storm on Bosta Beach eroded the sand dunes the village was buried beneath. The site was excavated by archaeologists who discovered a total of nine buildings connected by tunnels. Due to the site’s exposed location, it has since been backfilled with sand to protect it from weather damage but a reconstruction of one dwelling is open to visitors and provides an insight into the extraordinary settlement.

Blackhouse of Arnol

The Blackhouse of Arnol is a fully furnished island croft house complete with attached barn and stockyard. The house has very thick walls and a thatched roof, a peat fire burns in the grate and you can see how the islanders used to live – crofting life as it was until only 50 years ago. In fascinating contrast, the site is also home to a white house, furnished as it was in the 1920s and representing the world into which the black house residents moved.

Harris Beaches

Beaches are probably the feature of Harris that impress most visitors. The colour of the water, even on a dull day, and the purity of the sand are simply stunning. The beaches range from the huge expanses of Luskentyre, Scarista to little sheltered coves beside the road at Borve. Behind the beaches are machairs – green grassy plains covered in masses of wild flowers in the summer.

Golf Course


Situated in the largest town in the Outer Hebrides, Stornoway Golf Club was founded in 1890 and re-sited to its current location within the stunning grounds of the Lews Castle in 1947.

The 18-hole golf course is well designed and professionally maintained with panoramic views of Stornoway Harbour and the Minch. The clubhouse incorporates a golf shop that provides visitors with a good selection of golfing merchandise, as well as club and trolley hire while a short-game practice area, putting green, practice nets, locker rooms, and a licensed bar are all open to visitors.

Visitors are always welcome to Stornoway Golf Club where few leave without commenting on the club’s friendliness and the quality of the course.


The isle of Harris golf course is located in Scarista on the west coast of Harris, one of the worlds finest settings for the game of golf. Described as one of the most picturesque 9-hole golf courses in the world, though dedication and hard work it is now considered to be a first class links course.


Tour Guides

Western Isles Tour Guides Association (W.I.T.G.A.) was established in November 1997 by Green-Badge Guides recruited and trained by the national authority, the Scottish Tourist Guides Association.

It is the only organisation in the Outer Hebrides affiliated to the Scottish Tour Guides Association (S.T.G.A.) W.I.T.G.A. has provided a specialist service for all major cruise-ship tour operators visiting Stornoway and Tarbert Ports. Unique tours are also designed for individual clients and coach tours, to ensure visitors get the best possible experience from the Butt to Barra. For more information on the Western Isles Tour Guides, please visit their website here: 

Vehicle Access Request - Deep Water Terminal

If you would like to request vehicle access to the Deep Water Terminal on cruise days, please complete the following online form. All requests will be considered and port staff will contact you to discuss the outcome of your request. All requests are at the discretion of Stornoway Port and the decision is final.

Pre-booked tours, pre-booked customer collection etc
car / 16 seater bus / coach etc