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Northlink Ferries To Operate Revised Timetable During Dry Dock Period

21st December 2017

Photograph of Northlink Ferries To Operate Revised Timetable During Dry Dock Period

-- 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.

MV Hamnavoe, which operates between Scrabster and Stromness, will be removed from service from 22 January - 4 February 2017 and MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route from 10 - 13 February and 17 - 20 February 2017.

On the Pentland Firth route, freight vessel MV Helliar will provide a replacement bed and breakfast service with capacity to carry up to 12 passengers, while MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland will provide additional north and southbound connectivity via Kirkwall by operating the peak summer schedule. Alternative travel arrangements for foot passengers will also be provided between NorthLink Ferries and Pentland Ferries at their respective terminals.

Similar to previous dry dock periods, a reduced service will operate between Aberdeen and Lerwick while MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland are undergoing maintenance. This will result in the sailing of one vessel every other day from Lerwick to Aberdeen while daily freight connections will be continued with additional sailings of MV Helliar and MV Hildasay.

The scheduled dry dock period has been designed to minimise disruption to customers and takes place during the quietest time of year for both passengers and freight shipments. Time in dry dock allows each vessel to receive routine maintenance and necessary repair work.

Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at Serco NorthLink Ferries, commented: "We have worked hard to minimise the impact of the maintenance programme on passengers. We have introduced arrangements that ensure travel demands will be met between Orkney and Caithness while MV Hamnavoe is in dry dock. This includes continuation of the popular bed and breakfast offer, introduction of our freight vessel MV Helliar and increased calls to Kirkwall by MV Hjaltland & MV Hrossey.

"We have also secured, on short term charter, MV Arrow which will provide relief for MV Helliar whilst on the Stromness to Scrabster route."

For more information about the NorthLink Ferries and to view timetables, visit

About NorthLink Ferries:

Serco has operated the Northern Isles service since July 2012 providing scheduled lifeline passenger and freight services to the Northern Isles.

Named as ‘Best Ferry' at the Guardian and Observer Travel Awards 2016, NorthLink Ferries operate throughout the year with the MV Hamnavoe operating to Orkney on the Pentland Firth and MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey sailing to Orkney and Shetland from Aberdeen. MV Hildasay and MV Helliar provide regular timetabled freight services to both Shetland and Orkney. NorthLink Ferries has offices in Aberdeen, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Stromness and Scrabster.

The Hjaltland and Hrossey ferries sail every evening from Aberdeen and Lerwick in Shetland and have 117 en-suite cabins along with a range of contemporary eateries, bars and retail shops showcasing the very best of island produce. The MV Hamnavoe, again with an excellent array of services on-board, provides a swift and reliable 90 minute crossing of the Pentland Firth between Stromness in Orkney and the Caithness towns of Scrabster and Thurso.

More than just a business, they view themselves as a member of the local community, serving key sectors within the Northern Isles economies. These include the Agriculture, Aquaculture and Tourism Markets carrying the equivalent of 33 thousand Freight trailers and over 300 thousand passengers per year. This demonstrates the integral part played by the ferry provider working daily with stakeholders in all aspects of the operation.

A Serco spokesman said "This community integration, as well as support of the local economy, is important to us and we are therefore proud to purchase over 80% of products for our passengers to enjoy on-board from suppliers based within 50 miles of our operating ports."

For further information visit

About Serco:

Serco is an international service company, which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos.

Around the world, Serco improves essential services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. We advise policy makers, design innovative solutions, integrate systems and - most of all - deliver to the public.

More information can be found at


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