Stornoway and the Outer Hebrides are linked to the mainland by Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) Ferry Line ferries sailing the routes from Ullapool to Stornoway, Uig to Tarbert, Uig to Lochmaddy and Oban to Castlebay and Lochboisdale.
There are also inter-island ferries sailing from Barra to Eriskay and Berneray to Harris.
Over 1000 vessel movements are recorded annually comprising of commercial vessels, daily car passenger and freight ferries, cruise liners and many other vessel types.
Stornoway is one of the few ports on the West coast of Scotland offering two Ro-ro Linkspan facilities and handles almost 200,000 passengers per annum.
As tourism increases Stornoway's modern ferry terminal is welcoming tourists from across the Globe. The port is becoming a popular stop over for cruise liners and visiting yachts. Combined with the facilities provided for the fishing industry and the business opportunities within the town, it is apparent that Stornoway is well placed for commerce and tourism in the 21st century.
The Port Authority has submitted an application to funding bodies for the provision of marina facilities at Stornoway as the existing facilities are inadequate to meet the basic services expected by larger sized visiting pleasure craft.
Stornoway town has a wide range of facilities ranging from a large secondary school, (Nicholson Institute) and technical college, to sporting facilities, which includes a brand new sports complex. The complex would be the envy of most mainland small cities with its 25 metre pool, climbing walls, fitness suite, soft play etc.
The town also has a Golf Course, Astro Turf pitch, Go-Karting and even a paintball action area. Cruises around the area by boat are available during the summer months, embarking from the pontoons behind the Lifeboat Station. Cultural facilities are well catered for with a good museum, art gallery and library. An Lanntair, a brand new arts complex was opened in summer 2005.
In the grounds of Lews Castle, the Stornoway Trust has developed a series of well maintained woodland walks of varying lengths and scenic features.
The Gaelic language is still spoken widely, however, it is not so common to hear it in Stornoway as in the countryside.