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South Queensferry (Edinburgh), Scotland

Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Royal Mile, Edinburgh


South Queensferry is the port for Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-burah) for large cruise ships. Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and 18km east of South Queensferry.

Where You're Docked

South Queensferry - Ships anchor in the River Forth and tenders take passengers to Hawes Pier in the town of South Queensferry.

Leith - Used by smaller cruise ships. Ocean Terminal has a mall with the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Newhaven - A harbour with a pier used by tenders just west of Leith.

Rosyth - A port on the north side of the river Forth

Information for cruisers available here http://www.cruiseforth.com/ Port info with cruise schedule here http://capitalcruising.co.uk/

South Queensferry - Hawes Pier

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Leith - Ocean Terminal

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Money and Tipping

Scotland's currency is the British Pound (GBP) though Scottish banks issue their own notes at a 1:1 rate. English Sterling notes are usually mixed with Scottish notes. Ask for change in Sterling notes since they will be easier to change outside of Scotland. Banks should exchange with no commission. A small tip (5-10%) is appreciated when dining in restaurants. Post offices in the UK will offer currency exchange.

Local Transportation

South Queensferry

Bus X99 (service introduced in 2018) is the preferred way to get to Edinburgh. It runs from May to Sept when cruise ships are anchored at South Queensferry. The bus provides direct service from Hawes Pier to St Andrew Square in the city center with a journey time of 25 minutes one way. Tickets are £6 one way adult ticket and £10 day ticket (exact change, July 2022). Return buses depart from S St David St (Stop PL) across from the Scott Monument. https://www.lothianbuses.com/news/2022/05/cruiselink-x99-returns-to-queensferry/

There is frequent commuter train service from South Queensferry to Edinburgh but the nearest station is up the hill at Dalmeny Station. There is a staffed ticket office here (check website for hours) and one ticket machine that accepts cash and credit cards (chip and pin). Turn left with your back facing the pier and follow signs to the station leading uphill to your right. Journey time is 20 minutes to Waverley Station (city center) and fare is £5.20 one way (anytime travel) and £9.30 for same day return (July 2022).

Signpost to Dalmeny Station by Hawes Pier

On Your Own tours may drop off and pick up on Waterloo Pl (east end of Princes St).

Taxis should cost between £25 to £30 one way to get to Edinburgh.


Frequent Lothian bus 11, 22, or 34 travel to Princes St in the city center. To return, board these same routes to Ocean Terminal from Princes St eastbound. The journey takes 25 minutes. Adult bus fares are £1.80 for a single trip or £4.50 for a day ticket (July 2022). Contactless cards, Google Pay and Apple Pay can be tapped for single journeys. https://lothianbuses.co.uk/


Shuttles may be provided to Ocean Terminal. Otherwise you can take bus 16 headed east to Colinton or bus 11 heading west to Gilmerton from Pier Pl.


From the cruiseforth website - "There is currently no public transport service at the port of Rosyth. Local taxis are available at the terminal building and they will take you to Inverkeithing Railway or to Ferrytoll Bus Link. The local welcome team also run a courtesy hop on hop off service for most ships calling at Rosyth, taking you to Dunfermline and North Queensferry. Timetables of operation will be provided to your ship before you arrive. We do not offer this service for passengers beginning or ending their journey at Rosyth."


Within Edinburgh, most sights are walkable within the city. The first phase of a new tram line opened in May 2014 which makes it convenient to get to the airport. An extension to Ocean Terminal/Leith is scheduled for completion in spring 2023. http://edinburghtrams.com/


Search hotels in Edinburgh here

Sights (Prices updated July 2022)

  • Royal Mile - This famous street leads from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace in the middle of the old town.
  • Edinburgh Castle - This royal fortress is on a hill and home to Scotland's crown jewels. The one o'clock gun is fired every day except for Sundays. Entry £18. Buy tickets online to save time waiting in lineups. https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/
  • Holyrood Palace - The official residence of the Queen in Scotland. Entry £18.50 https://www.rct.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse
  • Scott Monument - **Temporarily Closed July 2022) Climb the 287 steps up this small memorial on Princes St. Entry fee £5 (Feb 2017). http://www.edinburghmuseums.org.uk/venues/scott-monument
  • Scottish Parliament - Free tours are available of this modern building beside Holyrood.
  • Calton Hill - Climb this hill to view monuments and a view of the city.
  • Arthur's Seat - A hill in Holyrood Park with excellent views.
  • Royal Yacht Britannia - A must for fans of ships and royalty. Enter from the adjoining Ocean Terminal shopping complex in Leith. Reachable by frequent Lothian bus 11, 22, or 34 from Princes St eastbound from Edinburgh. See Getting Around section in Leith above. http://www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk/
  • If you are planning to visit many sights, consider purchasing a Scotland Explorer Pass which replaces the Edinburgh Pass. http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/visit/tickets-prices/explorer-pass

Been Here Before

Head out to Stirling made famous by Scotland's national hero, William Wallace, and the movie Braveheart. There is a castle and memorial here.

Special Events

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival runs every August featuring lots of street entertainment. Also in August is Edinburgh's famous Military Tattoo held in temporary stands setup in front of the castle. Cruise ships will often offer tours to this event accompanied with a late sail. http://www.edfringe.com/ http://www.edintattoo.co.uk/

Shopping & Restaurants

You will find plenty of shops on Princes Street and on the Royal Mile. There is a small mall by Waverley Station. You will find most of the British chain and department stores along Princes Street.

For a budget lunch, grab a sandwich at M&S (Marks and Spencer) and eat on a bench in Princes St Gardens.

Post Offices

In South Queensferry, there is a post office inside the Co-op supermarket in the centre of town west of the tender pier.

In Edinburgh, there is a post office in St James Centre just north of Waverley Station.


McDonalds, cafes, and restaurants may provide free wifi for customers.

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Edinburgh Weather Forecast

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Page last modified on July 10, 2022, at 04:21 PM
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