How do I get to Shetland?

There are daily flights and ferries connecting mainland UK to Shetland but booking is essential at Festival time.

Travel by Sea

Northlink Ferries currently operate the overnight ferry service between Aberdeen and Shetland. The best ferry to catch is the one before the first day of the festival (i.e. leaving Aberdeen on Wednesday 1st May 2019) as this is when the organising committee and most of the visiting artistes are travelling up to Shetland. There are normally sessions that continue well into the night - if the North Sea is calm that is! We normally meet up at the ferry (bar!) a couple of hours prior to ferry departure. The ferry terminal building is about a 5 minute walk from the train and bus station. Please note, on 1st  May the ferry departs Aberdeen at 7pm. The very last check-in will be at 18.30 but as this is a busy ferry, you are advised to arrive earlier. You will arrive in Lerwick at 7.30am on Thursday 2nd May

Northlink offer a 30% discount on current standard rates for SFFS members travelling up to the Festival. The discount details will be in the membership confirmation e-mail you will receive. 

If you require cabin accommodation, booking the ferry is absolutely essential. Please check their website for more details www.northlinkferries.co.uk OR phone the reservation number: 0845 6000 4490845 6000 449.

Parking at Aberdeen Ferry Terminal

Car parking (hourly/daily rates apply) is available nearby the Aberdeen Terminal at

  • The car park at Commercial Quay is operated by Aberdeen Harbour Board. Parking is allowed for a maximum of 72hrs.
  • Union Square (www.unionsquareaberdeen.com/parking) which is 3 minutes away. This is surface parking for standard parking bay size vehicles, with no height restriction.
  • NCP Ship Row (tel: 01224 594257) which is 15 minutes away . There is a height restriction of 1.9m. A discount is available to NorthLink Ferries passengers with a validated NCP ticket (tickets are validated on return in the NorthLink Ferries Terminal Aberdeen.) Please note: This Discount is subject to change by NCP without notice

Parking for oversized vehicles / vehicles with tows is available at Aberdeen Beach Boulevard and Esplanade.

Travel by Air

You can also fly from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness and Aberdeen with Loganair to Sumburgh - Shetland's main airport. There are several flights per day.  Loganair flights can be booked online at https://www.loganair.co.uk or by contacting your local travel agent.

Is transport available to the concerts?

Transport to and from venues is NOT provided by the Shetland Folk Festival Society. You must make your own travel arrangements to Festival Concerts. Ferry crossings will be required to attend some of the concerts held during the festival. Please find information of inter-island ferries here. If you intend to attend the concerts in the remoter parts of Shetland, a hire car is advisable. Service buses unfortunately don't have suitable schedules to tie in with our evening concerts at rural areas.