Air / Bus / Rail / Ferry Services News
The big offshore construction vessel Seabed Stingray (8,878 tonnes) arrived in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from the Cromarty Firth's Nigg Energy Park around 07:00 on Monday (15.10.18) morning with a very special cargo on board. The 121 metre-long vessel was in the narrow strait between Gills Bay and Stroma Island to replace two of the four 'pioneering' tidal turbines that had been lifted out from SIMEC Atlantis Energy's MeyGen site last Summer for inspection and modification at Nigg.
Picture by Gills Harbour Ltd's Hon Sec Lyall Rennie, of Lower Warse, Canisbay KW1 4YB shows the busy Pentalina ferry in foreground approaching the harbour and passing by the heavy offshore construction vessel Viking Neptun. Deployed on Friday 20th July to recover two Andrtiz 1.5 MW turbines for warranty repairs from the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound from SIMEC Atlantis Energy plc's seabed lease, known as the MeyGen site, just off Gills Bay ( just over 1 NM) in NE Caithness.
Northern Isles ferry operator NorthLink Ferries has reported a 10 per cent increase in the volume of passengers who have travelled on the route network since the firm took over running the lifeline ferry service in July 2012. The passenger increase coincides with recent VisitScotland tourism figures which highlighted a rise in visitors to Orkney by 20 per cent since 2013, while the number of visitors to Shetland increased by 10 percent over the same period.
Northern Isles school pupils are calling for passengers' attention with the introduction of refreshed safety briefing announcements on board NorthLink Ferries passenger vessels. As part of the Scottish Government's Year of Young People 2018, the lifeline ferry service chose four students from Anderson High School in Lerwick for the announcement on MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey and a further four pupils from Stromness Primary School in Orkney for the MV Hamnavoe recording.
In support of the Year of Young People 2018, and in partnership with Caber Coffee's Ethyco range, NorthLink Ferries is looking for two outstanding young people to apply for a travel bursary. The bursary is intended to be used towards the cost of attending a significant cultural or leadership event.
Serco NorthLink Ferries is proud to support local producers from the Northern Isles as they prepare for this year's Highland Show. In partnership with producers from Orkney, the Serco NorthLink lifeline ferry transported cheese, baked items, oatcakes, ice creams and of course rum and gin, that will be proudly showcased at the show.
Serco NorthLink Ferries celebrates being the first ferry company in Scotland to achieve the prestigious Investors in People Silver Accreditation, the most successful framework for business improvement through people in the UK. Stuart Garrett, Serco's Managing Director of NorthLink Ferries, joined the team at NorthLink Ferries' Stromness call centre to celebrate the achievement.
Since the news came out in the John O'Groat Journal that Stage coach are to change bus services for Gills and John O'Groats protests have been getting louder. the proposed bus timetable changes from 20th August which effectively abolish the direct route from Wick to John o'Groats and Gills.
Gills Harbour Ltd, the community body that owns and runs Gills Harbour on Caithness's North Coast, has a new office-bearer. At its recent Annual General Meeting, Mr Mark Gibson of Northern View, John O'Groats KW1 4YS, was unanimously appointed as the body's Vice-Chairman.
-- Rolling dry dock period to commence late January with final vessel complete by 20 February--. -- MV Arrow secured on short term charter -- -- Alternative travel arrangements in place for MV Hamnavoe -- NorthLink Ferries has today (Thursday 21 December) published timetables confirming arrangements for the regular planned maintenance of its passenger vessels, with one vessel at a time due to be out of service between 22 January and 20 February.
OFFICIAL FIGURES SHOW MORE PEOPLE AND CARS SAILED ACROSS THE PENTLAND FIRTH FROM CAITHNESS TO ORKNEY IN 2016 FROM GILLS BAY THAN ON ANY OTHER ROUTE. Official figures recently published by Scottish Government 'spending watchdog' body Audit Scotland show that the so-called 'short sea-route' from Gills Bay to St Margaret's Hope was the busiest seaway to Orkney across the Pentland Firth in 2016.
One of the contractors that has been operating in the Inner Sound for Atlantis RL's MeyGen site has been taken over by another, a much-larger one. See note on Insight Marine Services Ltd of Cornwall.
BMT Nigel Gee (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group, has announced a new project to design an 85m steel-hulled catamaran RoPax ferry for Strategic Marine, a subsidiary of Triyards Holding Limited. The ferry is for Scottish ferry operator Pentland Ferries and BMT will be responsible for concept through to production design, working closely with Strategic Marine.
Notice of Annual General Meeting: On Tuesday 21.03.2017 @ 19.30. Gills Harbour Ltd: A Community- owned trading Company limited by guarantee.
NorthLink Ferries is set to open bookings for travel to and from the Northern Isles for next year from Saturday (1 October). Peter Hutchinson, customer service director at NorthLink Ferries, said: "NorthLink Ferries is happy to announce that bookings for 2017 are to be accepted from Saturday.
Jack-up barge Neptune arrives in the PF's Inner Sound early this afternoon 22.09.16. German tug Elbe, which will be working closely with the self-propelled JU, is already on site.
Update From Bill Mowatt. 'Notice to mariners': Installation of first tidal-stream turbine in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound at Atlantis RL's MeyGen site c.
Regional airport operator HIAL has handled more passengers than ever, according to latest figures for the last financial year. The airport group, which operates 11 airports across Scotland, handled 1,437,625 passengers in 2015/16, up by more than 6000 on the previous year.
NorthLink Ferries, managed and operated by Serco on behalf of Transport Scotland, has scooped a national award at this year's Guardian and Observer Travel Awards. Held in Scotland's capital on Friday 3 March, the ferry operator was awarded the title of ‘Best Ferry' at the annual ceremony, which celebrates the best in travel and tourism services across the world.
-- Location Fee Donated to Local Charity NorthLink Ferries is set to make its debut in the BBCs successful Shetland series this month. Passenger ferry MV Hrossey will appear in the third series of the crime television programme, which stars Douglas Henshall as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, due to air from Friday 15 January 2016.