NorthLink Ferries Join the Lookout for Scotland's Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises
3rd July 2015
More than 12 NorthLink Ferries crew members have undertaken training to help them spot whales, dolphins and porpoise whilst sailing between the mainland and northern isles.
The training marks the start of a new partnership between NorthLink Ferries and ORCA as they launch OceanWatch - a new conservation initiative that begins on 25 July aiming to monitor and collect data on marine life around the UK coastline and adjoining waters
Speaking of the recent training and partnership, Captain Stuart McCallum, Marine Manager at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: "Marine life is extremely vast and varied in the North Sea and through ORCA's OceanWatch training we hope to be able to obtain a snapshot of whale, dolphin and porpoise presence in these waters.
"The on-board bridge teams are always on the lookout for marine wildlife and birds to help give passengers a more comprehensive picture of our native wildlife as they travel to and from the mainland."
Sally Hamilton, Director of ORCA, said: "We are extremely pleased to be working with the NorthLink Ferries crew as they become more actively involved in marine conservation. With daily sailings to the northern isles they are ideally positioned to be able to support us with this surveying. They will also be able to pass on the benefit of their training to passengers.
“ORCA OceanWatch which supports the Sea Watch Foundation's National Whale and Dolphin Watch is important when it comes to recording wildlife sightings. We are confident that with NorthLink Ferries' support, the general public will have an enhanced appreciation for and desire to protect their marine environment."
Follow updates on sightings throughout ORCA OceanWatch by visiting
or on Facebook and Twitter #ORCAOceanWatch
For more information about NorthLink Ferries or to make a booking, visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk or call 0845 6000 449.
The Serco NorthLink freight ship Helliar is now running the Stromness to Scrabster ferry route while the Hamnavoe has its refit this week. Bad weather is affecting trips today and tomorrow per the Serco Northlink website - Updated Wednesday 16th January at 13:30 M.V.
NorthLink Ferries has published timetables confirming arrangement for the regular planned maintenance of its passenger vessels, with one vessel at a time due to be out of service between 13 January and 25 March 2019. MV Hamnavoe, which operates between Scrabster and Stromness, will be removed from service for five days from 13 - 19 January and MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route from 2 - 18 February and 19 - 25 March.
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.
-- 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.
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.
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.
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