Northern Isles pupils call for passengers' attention
10th July 2018
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.
Speaking of the new on-board passenger announcements, Serco's Managing Director at NorthLink Ferries, Stuart Garrett, commented: "On board safety announcements are an important part of our passengers’ journey, but something that can be overlooked, particularly by those passengers who regularly travel with us. By using children’s voices we hope to capture our passengers’ full attention, and use this as an opportunity to give our local young people a glimpse into the workings of the service. What’s more, on still summer evenings it’s really nice to hear the students’ voices echoing across the harbour before we set off to sail.
"As the Year of Young People progresses throughout 2018 we’ll be continuing to celebrate this special year with additional partnerships with the local community and its youngest residents."
Leah Hamilton from Stromness Primary School was one of the pupils chosen for the recording. She added: "It was great fun recording the announcement. It only took us a few attempts and we were pleased with the final message.
“We know that safety is important when travelling anywhere so we hope that the new announcement will help NorthLink Ferries’ passengers listen to the briefing and follow the steps carefully."
For more information about NorthLink Ferries or to make a booking, visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk or call 0845 6000 449.
Four-legged friends can now travel with their owners between the Scottish mainland and Orkney and Shetland - thanks to new pet-friendly cabins on NorthLink Ferries passenger vessels MV Hamnavoe, MV Hjaltland and MV Hrossey. Each ship has two pet-friendly cabins available which have en-suite facilities, side-by-side lower twin bunks and tea and coffee making facilities.
Serco NorthLink Ferries has been operating a revised service during Phase 1 and 2 of lockdown, which has provided travel for key workers as well as essential islander and freight connectivity between the Northern Isles and mainland Scotland. During the period 22 March to 30 June, passenger numbers across all routes were 6,010 in comparison to 112,416 over the same period in 2019, representing a reduction of 95 per cent.
Serco NorthLink Ferries continues to request that travellers stay at home and help to save lives as the company was forced to refuse travel to 23 passengers since 22 March. As part of the national effort to deal with the current public health crisis, NorthLink Ferries has been monitoring passengers' reasons for travelling, which are captured during the booking process, and denying travel to or from the Northern Isles to those who disclose non-essential reasons.
A new temporary timetable has been introduced by Serco NorthLink Ferries, designed to continue to provide a lifeline service between mainland Scotland and the Northern Isles whilst reflecting travel demand during the COVID-19 outbreak. In line with advice from the Scottish Government and health officials, restrictions have been implemented in recent weeks to allow only necessary travel, resulting in a significant reduction in passenger numbers.
Stuart Garrett, Serco's Managing Director of NorthLink Ferries, said: "The wellbeing of our passengers and staff is always our top priority and since the outset of COVID-19 we have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety. We have followed relevant guidelines and advice from the Government and health officials and continue to do so.
The MV Hamnavoe is due to be in dry dock from 13th to 26th January 2020 (inclusive), and there will be additional north and southbound calls into Kirkwall by the MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland. During this time the MV Helliar will provide a replacement service on the Pentland Firth route.
Serco, the international service company, has been selected as preferred bidder to continue managing and operating the lifeline Northern Isles Ferry Services for passengers and freight between the Scottish mainland and the Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, providing essential access and supplies for the islanders. The outcome of the tender was announced by the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands to The Scottish Parliament this morning.
Company is first Scottish transport operator to introduce pioneering support service. Serco NorthLink Ferries has partnered with one of Scotland's digital start-ups to improve journeys for customers who require additional support.
Visitors to some of Scotland's main agricultural shows this summer could win free travel to the Northern Isles on board Serco NorthLink Ferries. Anyone stopping by the company's stand at the Royal Highland Show, Caithness Show, Turriff Show or Isles Shows will be able to enter a prize draw for a trip on board its vessels.
Northern Isles ferry operator Serco NorthLink Ferries is predicting its busiest ever holiday season. The company has just completed training for its 31 seasonal Passenger Service Assistants who have joined the team ahead of the summer surge.