NorthLink News

Here you’ll find news, press releases and articles about NorthLink’s activities throughout the year! Check back often as it’ll be updated regularly!

Top Tips for Taste of Grampian

Top Tips for Taste of Grampian

With Taste of Grampian only coming around once a year it’s pivotal that you make the most of the day! Over 100 exhibitors travel from near and far to the Thainstone Centre, in Inverurie, to attend this event and showcase how truly unique Scotland is when it comes to food and drink. Taste of Grampian is Scotland’s largest one day food festival and we’ve compiled some tips to help you make the most of it!

The Orkney Nature Festival Cruise 2017

The Orkney Nature Festival Cruise 2017

The Orkney Nature Festival / Per Mare Cruise took place on Sunday 21st May 2017, and this year MV Hamnavoe set sail from Stromness and made her way up the west coast of Orkney. With 400 passengers on board, we were lucky to have had such a beautiful day with blue skies, calm seas, spectacular views and even some Risso's dolphins - see the pictures here!

Kids Go Wild with NorthLink Ferries and RSPB Scotland

Kids Go Wild with NorthLink Ferries and RSPB Scotland

NorthLink Ferries has teamed up with RSPB Scotland to give families a chance to tap into their wild side. From April until September, a set of ‘pop-up’ binoculars and wildlife calendar providing helpful nature-watching tips will be offered to families travelling on the ferry service, helping them spot unique wildlife as they make their way to and from the Northern Isles.

NorthLink Ferries Set Sail to London for the Travel Marketing Awards

NorthLink Ferries Set Sail to London for the Travel Marketing Awards

Tuesday 14th March saw NorthLink Ferries venture south to London for the Travel Marketing Awards. The event is the largest and most prestigious award ceremony in the travel and tourism marketing calendar. NorthLink Ferries were shortlisted for the ‘Radio Advertising’ of the year award.

NorthLink Ferries Passenger Vessel to Return to Service

NorthLink Ferries Passenger Vessel to Return to Service

NorthLink Ferries’ is pleased to confirm the return of passenger vessel MV Hjaltland to service in time for Up Helly Aa following a scheduled dry dock period. The vessel will return to its timetabled service on Friday 27 January after receiving routine maintenance and various upgrades to the on board passenger areas.

Six fascinating facts about Robert Burns

Six fascinating facts about Robert Burns

NorthLink Ferries will be celebrating the day of Robert Burns' birth, the 25th January, with a delicious Burns Supper on board. You can also enjoy a complimentary nip of Glansa Whisky by Scapa to make your toast to the poet! We've compiled six fascinating facts you may not know about Robert Burns.

How NorthLink Ferries divert 92% of waste from landfill

How NorthLink Ferries divert 92% of waste from landfill

NorthLink Ferries carry approximately 300,000 passengers a year and, as you can imagine, this generates a lot of waste! Read on to find out how NorthLink Ferries are working with One Stop Waste Solutions to divert 92% of all their waste from landfill!

RSPB Scotland Schools Programme Boosted by NorthLink Ferries

RSPB Scotland Schools Programme Boosted by NorthLink Ferries

RSPB Scotland has received a fundraising boost thanks to local ferry operator NorthLink Ferries. The company hosted a wildlife cruise as the grand finale of this year’s Orkney Nature Festival in May on board its vessel, MV Hamnavoe. The cruise was attended by more than 400 people and raised almost £2,700 for the wildlife charity’s work in Orkney.

Meritorious service rewarded with new Merchant Navy medal

Meritorious service rewarded with new Merchant Navy medal

On Friday 2 September, Shipping Minister John Hayes announced the first recipients of a Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service. This new state award was being awarded for exemplary service and devotion to duty, rewarding those who have set an outstanding example to others. We here at NorthLink Ferries are pleased to advise that included in the list of recipients for the 2016 award is Captain Stuart McCallum.

NorthLink Ferries celebrate Merchant Navy Day

NorthLink Ferries celebrate Merchant Navy Day

Merchant Navy Day has provided an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of the seafarers of the past, to show appreciation for British shipping and to look ahead to our future as a maritime nation. NorthLink Ferries' ship MV Hamnavoe was proud to display the Red Ensign Flag in honour of Merchant Navy Day on Saturday.

Captain Dave Wheeler retirement presentations

Captain Dave Wheeler retirement presentations

The team at NorthLink Ferries has honoured Capt. Dave Wheeler with retirement ceremonies on board MV Hjaltland in Aberdeen and Lerwick, Shetland in recognition for his commitment to the Northern Isles routes over many years.

NorthLink say a fond farewell to Captain Dave Wheeler

NorthLink say a fond farewell to Captain Dave Wheeler

On Friday 19th August 2016, crew members and shore staff, along with George Adam, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, joined in a farewell ceremony on board MV Hjaltland to show NorthLink’s appreciation for Captain Dave Wheeler, who is due to start his retirement on Wednesday 31st August 2016.

RNLI Cheque presentation

RNLI Cheque presentation

On Tuesday 23rd August, Stuart Garrett, Managing Director of NorthLink Ferries presented a cheque for the amount of £2,210 to Stewart Taylor, Stromness Lifeboat Operations Manager from NorthLink Ferries.

Shetland Boat Week 2016

Shetland Boat Week 2016

From Monday 8th to Sunday 14th August 2016, Shetland Amenity Trust hosted the first ever Shetland Boat Week. Shona Lawrance of NorthLink Ferries reports back from a successful festival that included boat trips, behind the scenes tours, lectures, demonstrations, sailing races and much more!

The Vikings invade the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival!

The Vikings invade the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival!

On Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th June 2016, for the first time ever, NorthLink Ferries attended the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy and sponsored the main harbourside marquee there. However, visitors to the boat festival didn't just meet NorthLink staff! The Viking Jarl's Squad came all the way from Shetland and nearly broke an ancient law banning vikings from the North East! Read on to find out more...

NorthLink attend the Ultimate Business Show

NorthLink attend the Ultimate Business Show

NorthLink Ferries attended the Ultimate Business Show on Thursday 16th June 2016. The event was hosted by the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce and took place in the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. We had a great day; take a look at photos and read about our highlights of the day!

Taste of Grampian – a true showcase of local talent

Taste of Grampian – a true showcase of local talent

NorthLink Ferries were delighted to participate in the Taste of Grampian for the first time on Saturday 4th June 2016, as both a sponsor and an exhibitor. As well as showcasing the delicious local produce we serve on board our ferries, we met some celebrity chefs, gave out Northlink goodies and ran a popular competition. Click here to see photos from the day!

Shetland Classic Motor Show 2016

Shetland Classic Motor Show 2016

We always look forward to transporting vehicles to the Shetland Classic Motor Show, which takes place from Thursday 2nd to Tuesday 7th June 2016 at the Clickimin Centre, Lerwick. Click here to see some of the brilliant vehicles in Aberdeen before they travel with NorthLink to Shetland!

Sponsored Shetland Walk Raises Thousands for Charity

Sponsored Shetland Walk Raises Thousands for Charity

A NorthLink Ferries crewmember has successfully raised more than £2,500 for award-winning charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland by organising a sponsored walk from Lerwick to Scalloway with support from her colleagues and the generosity of local islanders.

The Orkney Nature Festival Cruise around Hoy

The Orkney Nature Festival Cruise around Hoy

The Orkney Nature Festival Cruise was held on Sunday 22nd May 2016, and featured a clockwise trip around the island of Hoy. A great trip was had by 421 passengers, who enjoyed a hearty buffet, free Corncrake Ale and Scapa whisky, traditional music and cliff scenery, birds, seals and porpoises that were out of this world!

A fun Friday on board MV Hrossey with Original 106 fm

A fun Friday on board MV Hrossey with Original 106 fm

NorthLink Ferries' ship MV Hrossey, docked in Aberdeen, was the host to the Original 106 fm quiz 'Don't Forget Your Suitcase' on Friday 20th May 2016. It was the culmination of a week of competitions with a chance to win all-expenses-paid trip to Shetland, courtesy of NorthLink Ferries. Read on to find out what happened!

NorthLink Ferries Hosts Unique Wildlife Cruise

NorthLink Ferries Hosts Unique Wildlife Cruise

Northern Isles nature lovers are set to experience a trip of a lifetime this Sunday (22 May) in celebration of Orkney Nature Festival. NorthLink Ferries is offering islanders and mainland visitors the chance to board MV Hamnavoe from Stromness for a wildlife cruise around the coastline of the scenic island of Hoy.

Aberdeen Families Called to Compete in TV-inspired Competition

Aberdeen Families Called to Compete in TV-inspired Competition

NorthLink Ferries and local radio station Original 106 FM will launch their ‘Don’t Forget Your Suitcase’ competition on Friday (20 May). This will see four finalists make their way to the Aberdeen Ferry Terminal where one family will win a trip to Shetland that night.

Shetland Folk Festival 2016

Shetland Folk Festival 2016

The Shetland Folk Festival attracts musicians and visitors from all around the world and this year takes place from Thursday 28th April until Monday 2nd May 2016. The ferry trip from Aberdeen to Lerwick the day before is a lively one as the artists meet and start to play together. See some pictures of the journey here!

Orkney Nature Festival programme announced

Orkney Nature Festival programme announced

The programme for the county’s fourth annual Nature Festival has been released today (Thursday 14 April), featuring events ranging from snorkelling and a poetry workshop to a wildlife cruise on NorthLink’s Hamnavoe.

NorthLink Ferries Celebrates Scotland Week with Shetland Vikings 

NorthLink Ferries Celebrates Scotland Week with Shetland Vikings 

NorthLink Ferries is helping take one of Shetland’s best traditions across the pond in celebration of Scotland Week. The ferry operator provided travel for 24 members of the Viking Jarl Squad as they travelled to Aberdeen before flying out to New York to take part in the Tartan Day Parade which takes place on Saturday 9 April.

Coffee Morning Raises £3000 for RNLI

Coffee Morning Raises £3000 for RNLI

The Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild’s annual coffee morning attracted 400 people on Saturday (19 RNLI coffee morningMarch) and raised £3000 for the RNLI.

Ferry Crew Launch Charity Campaign

Ferry Crew Launch Charity Campaign

NorthLink Ferries crewmembers have launched a fundraising campaign for award-winning charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland, with the aim of supporting stroke nurses in the north east of Scotland.

NorthLink Ferries Continues Up Helly Aa Support

NorthLink Ferries Continues Up Helly Aa Support

NorthLink Ferries is proud to be supporting Shetland’s world-renowned fire festival, Up Helly Aa, once again this year. The ferry operator is continuing its sponsorship of the Junior Jarl Squad who are set to march on board MV Hjaltland before enjoying a lunch with family and friends.

NorthLink Ferries’ Guide to BBC’s Shetland Series

NorthLink Ferries’ Guide to BBC’s Shetland Series

With the third series of the popular BBC series Shetland due to air on Friday 15th January, NorthLink Ferries has selected its top five Shetland locations and attractions featured in the programme for visitors inspired to travel to the most northern part of the British isles.

Refreshing Scottish Tonic Offer for NorthLink Ferries Passengers

Refreshing Scottish Tonic Offer for NorthLink Ferries Passengers

NorthLink Ferries is offering passengers a truly Scottish drinks deal this month. Until 18th January, all passengers who purchase either the popular Rock Rose Gin or Shetland Reel Gin from the on board bars will receive a free 200ml bottle of Walter Gregor’s Tonic Water.

Tasting Events to Continue On Board NorthLink Ferries

Tasting Events to Continue On Board NorthLink Ferries

NorthLink Ferries is set to bring a series of events on board its services in 2016 following a successful Year of Food and Drink in 2015. The events will continue the Scottish Government’s celebration of food and drink from 2015 by showcasing local Orkney and Shetland producers throughout next year at a series of on board tastings.

Sponsorship for Orkney Football Teams

Sponsorship for Orkney Football Teams

Orkney Youth Development Group teams have stepped out in new football strips thanks to a three-year sponsorship deal from NorthLink Ferries. The new red Adidas kit will see the Group’s four junior teams, including under 11s, under 12s under 13s and under 15s, with distinctive strips for competitions both on and off the Islands until May 2018.

NorthLink Ferries Records Marine Sightings

NorthLink Ferries Records Marine Sightings

NorthLink Ferries’ support of a new conservation initiative has proved successful, with five harbour porpoises, a striped dolphin and a pilot whale spotted in the first four months of the project by the ferry firm’s crewmembers.

NorthLink Ferries Scoops National Fair Trade Award

NorthLink Ferries Scoops National Fair Trade Award

NorthLink Ferries has been named as the joint winner of a national award in recognition of the company’s commitment to Fair Trade. The award was presented at the Scottish Fair Trade Awards to the Northern Isles ferry service for its partnership with Aberdeen Fairtrade Steering Group and Orkney Fair Trade Group.

Stromness Captain Honoured at Retirement Ceremony

Stromness Captain Honoured at Retirement Ceremony

NorthLink Ferries has honoured one of the company’s longest serving crew members at a retirement ceremony on board MV Hamnavoe. The ceremony, which was attended by more than 60 past and present members of staff, thanked Captain William Mackay (62) from Stromness for his 23 years of service on the Northern Isles passenger vessels.

NorthLink Ferries Bookings Now Available for 2016

NorthLink Ferries Bookings Now Available for 2016

NorthLink Ferries is now accepting bookings for travel to and from Orkney and Shetland for next year. The ferry operator will continue with its current timetable and fares as well as cater for popular events by providing a temporary revised schedule when required.

Shetland Nature Festival 2015 – what to look forward to!

Shetland Nature Festival 2015 – what to look forward to!

Shetland Nature Festival is coming soon (from Saturday 4th to Friday 10th July 2015) for the seventh year running and promises to be an exciting and varied programme of events for all the family! We caught up a representative of Shetland Amenity Trust, the organisation which co-ordinates the festival this week. She let us know some highlights of this year's celebration of Shetland's amazing natural landscape!

Archaeological Artefacts Returned to Shetland

Archaeological Artefacts Returned to Shetland

Over 100,000 archaeological artefacts have been returned to Shetland for inclusion in the Recognised Archaeology Collection of Shetland Museum and Archives, thanks to the assistance of Serco NorthLink Ferries.

Junior InterCounty 2015

Junior InterCounty 2015

NorthLink Ferries were delighted to support the Junior InterCounty sporting competition between youngsters from Orkney and Shetland. We helped transport Orcadian competitors to the annual Junior InterCounty competition in Shetland, by putting on extra stops at Hatston on Friday 16th June 2015 and Sunday 21st June 2015. The weekend was a great success and Cheryl from NorthLink Ferries was there to take some super shots of the weekend!

Simmer Dim Motorcycle Rally 2015

Simmer Dim Motorcycle Rally 2015

This weekend, the annual Simmer Dim Motorcycle Rally took place in Shetland. The motorcyclists arrived in Aberdeen and sailed Northwards to Shetland on Wednesday night. After a grand weekend of socialising, sightseeing and hi-jinks, they returned on Sunday night. Here are some pictures of our vehicle decks and the motorcyclists as they boarded the ferry!

RNLI Bressay Cruise 2015

RNLI Bressay Cruise 2015

The annual RNLI Lifeboat Open Day was held on Saturday, 13th June 2015 in Shetland. As well as the many attractions on Lerwick's Victoria Pier, there was a NorthLink cruise to enjoy! MV Hrossey sailed round Bressay and there was an impressive air and sea rescue demonstation! The cruise was well-attended, and it was a great fund raiser. We hope you'll enjoy pictures of the day here!

Islander Online Booking Prize Draw

Islander Online Booking Prize Draw

Since October 2014, NorthLink Ferries have been offering a prize draw for Islanders who book online. Simply make a booking at www.northlinkferries.co.uk using your Islander ID and you'll be automatically entered into the draw (drawn monthly) to win £100 worth of NorthLink Ferries Gift Vouchers! Here are some of our lucky winners so far!

NorthLink Ferries achieve Taste Our Best Award on every vessel

NorthLink Ferries achieve Taste Our Best Award on every vessel

NorthLink Ferries has received a special award from VisitScotland in recognition of its locally-sourced food and drink. Each ship in the NorthLink fleet has recently been visited by VisitScotland to gauge the extent of the use of local food and drink on its menus. The company was then successfully awarded the Taste Our Best award.

Pupils travel to Shetland for the Erasmus+ Project

Pupils travel to Shetland for the Erasmus+ Project

Since September 2014 three schools: Mid Yell Junior High School, Collège Le Dimitile in La Réunion, and IES El Yelmo in Andalusia have been involved in the Erasmus + Project “Treasure”. The aim is to work together to share their Eco School work and also to gain a better understanding of each other's culture.

Completion of work to Hatston Pier access road

Completion of work to Hatston Pier access road

Orkney Islands Council are pleased to confirm the successful completion of work to improve the access road to the Hatston Pier which has involved the temporary diversion of traffic through the Hatston Enterprise Area for those people using facilities on the Hatston Pier access road and the Pier itself.

The NorthLink Open at the Stromness Golf Club

The NorthLink Open at the Stromness Golf Club

Saturday, 30th and Sunday 31st May was the 125th anniversary weekend for the Stromness Golf Club! NorthLink Ferries were proud to sponsor the NorthLink Open on Saturday, on a course that is close to many staff members hearts! Check out some of the pictures of the day here!

NorthLink welcome the RSPB on board MV Hamnavoe

NorthLink welcome the RSPB on board MV Hamnavoe

NorthLink Ferries are delighted to welcome the RSPB on board MV Hamnavoe on Saturdays during the summer season! As the ferry travels between Scrabster and Stromness, you can talk to one of the friendly representatives and they’ll be happy to point out birds which can be seen from the ferry.

Orkney Nature Festival 2015 Round-Up

Orkney Nature Festival 2015 Round-Up

Orkney’s third Nature Festival attracted more than 600 wildlife-lovers from near and far. Coordinated by RSPB Scotland, the spectacular variety of events on offer was a collaborative effort from individuals, community groups, organisations and businesses around Orkney, all keen to share the county’s inspirational natural heritage with locals and visitors alike.

NorthLink Ferries meet Restoration artist Antonella Papa

NorthLink Ferries meet Restoration artist Antonella Papa

Stuart Garrett and James Linklater of NorthLink Ferries were pleased to meet Antonella Papa, a restoration specialist from Italy, in Orkney's Italian Chapel. Antonella specialises in restoration work in cathedrals and churches and she has been carefully restoring paintwork originally created by Italian prisoners of war during World War Two.

Orkney Nature Festival – an interview with Alison Nimmo

Orkney Nature Festival – an interview with Alison Nimmo

We're very excited that the Orkney Nature Festival is back for its third year and will be running from Wednesday 13th to Sunday 17th May. We were very pleased when Alison Nimmo, Community Engagement Officer for RSPB Orkney and organiser of the Orkney Nature Festival took some time out of her very busy schedule to answer some questions about this year's event!

Shetland Folk Festival 2015

Shetland Folk Festival 2015

The Shetland Folk Festival officially runs from Thursday 30th April 2015 to Saturday 3rd May 2014. However it starts unofficially on the ferry journey the day before! NorthLink Ferries were delighted to meet the visiting artists in Aberdeen and hope they have a great time in the beautiful Shetland Islands! See the pictures here!

Jarl Squad Raise the Roof at Expo 2015

Jarl Squad Raise the Roof at Expo 2015

The Northern Isles’ heritage was showcased by over 38 special guests dressed in full Viking attire during the opening of Scotland’s premier travel trade event, VisitScotland expo today (Wednesday 22 April). Shetland’s famous Jarl Squad, which leads the annual Viking fire festival Up Helly Aa in January, travelled with NorthLink Ferries to the event in Aberdeen.

The Viklings have a new recruit!

The Viklings have a new recruit!

Children who travel with NorthLink Ferries during Spring / Summer 2015 have been asked to draw a new Vikling recruit - and they've done a fantastic job so far! Take a look to see for yourself, and check this page throughout the summer as we add more brilliant drawings!

All Aboard MV Hrossey for RNLI Coffee Morning

All Aboard MV Hrossey for RNLI Coffee Morning

NorthLink’s MV Hrossey was the venue for the RNLI Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild’s annual coffee morning on Saturday (21 March). More than 360 people boarded the vessel for their morning coffee, raising £2,520 for the charity.

Stromness Primary School pupils make a Lego Hamnavoe

Stromness Primary School pupils make a Lego Hamnavoe

A group of P5 pupils at Stromness Primary School recently constructed a Lego model of our ferry the MV Hamnavoe especially for a forthcoming Lego exhibition in Kirkwall. We provided our logo in sticker form as a finishing touch and the children also had help from LEGO. When the exhibition is finished this wonderful model will be on display on board the Hamnavoe. Take a look at the construction of model here!

Ten reasons to travel with NorthLink Ferries

Ten reasons to travel with NorthLink Ferries

At NorthLink Ferries we're really proud of our ships and our friendly staff. The ships are built with the highest standards of comfort and safety in mind, there are some great sights to see as you travel, and our staff are pleased to go the extra mile to ensure you have a comfortable journey. If you're visiting Orkney or Shetland here are ten reasons to travel with NorthLink Ferries!

Valentine’s Day celebrations

Valentine’s Day celebrations

NorthLink Ferries had Valentine's Day celebrations on board MV Hrossey, MV Hjaltland and MV Hamnavoe on Saturday, 14th February. These included a free glass of Rose wine (or orange juice) for every passenger, a free heart-shaped chocolate made by Cocoa Ooze for all the ladies, and a prize draw to win a meal for two in Magnus’ lounge!

Vikings Venture On Board for Up Helly Aa

Vikings Venture On Board for Up Helly Aa

NorthLink Ferries’ iconic Viking, Magnus, was brought to life today (Tuesday, 27 January) during celebrations at Shetland’s world-renowned fire festival Up Helly Aa. Acting as King Magnus the Good, 13-year-old Lewis Harkness led 15 members of the Junior Jarl Squad on board the MV Hjaltland followed by over 100 members of family and friends to enjoy a lunch hosted by NorthLink Ferries.

Photo Competition

Photo Competition

During the summer of 2014, NorthLink Ferries ran a photographic competition in ‘Northern Lights’, our on-board magazine. The remit was to take a photo of a ferry in a scenic location or a photo from the ferry. We were delighted with the response – take a look at a selection of the great photos we received here!

Serco NorthLink Ferries Welcomes 2015 Bookings

Serco NorthLink Ferries Welcomes 2015 Bookings

Serco NorthLink Ferries is accepting bookings for travel to and from the Northern Isles for next year. Stuart Garrett, Managing Director, said: “As ever, the year ahead is set to include a number of exciting events for both Orkney and Shetland, from live traditional music festivals to midsummer celebrations.

Captain Nigel Barnes retires

Captain Nigel Barnes retires

NorthLink Ferries honoured one of the company’s longest serving crew members at a retirement ceremony in Aberdeen. The ceremony, which was attended by 50 members of staff as well as the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, was held to thank Captain Nigel Barnes for his 26 years of service.

The Vikling’s new pet

The Vikling’s new pet

Children who travel with NorthLink Ferries this summer have been doing a fantastic job of drawing the Vikling’s new pet! Each entry receives a chocolate prize, and we’ve been delighted at the amazing Vikling pets that we have received. Here are some of their brilliant drawings!

Highland Park Whisky tasting

Highland Park Whisky tasting

In Magnus' Lounge on every ship, on the last Thursday of every month there is a free whisky tasting session. the whisky in question is the limited edition Saint Magnus whisky by Highland Park!

Late Sailing Scheduled for County Show Visitors

Late Sailing Scheduled for County Show Visitors

Serco NorthLink Ferries has scheduled a later sailing to accommodate those visiting this weekend’s Orkney County Show (Saturday, 9 August). The 1645 hours M.V Hamnavoe sailing from Scrabster to Stromness will depart one hour later than timetabled.

M.V Helliar in Drydock

M.V Helliar in Drydock

A Serco NorthLink Ferries spokesperson said: “The scheduled departure of the M.V Helliar today has been cancelled due to technical difficulties with one of the vessel’s rudders. As a result, it will be placed in drydock so that the problem can be investigated immediately and any necessary repairs carried out.

Orkney Beach Race 2014

Orkney Beach Race 2014

NorthLink Ferries were delighted to sponsor the 2014 Orkney Motocross Club beach race on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July. This is a spectacular three hour endurance race on a three-mile-long track over sand dunes and fields. See some pictures from the day here!

Queen’s Baton Relay

Queen’s Baton Relay

NorthLink Ferries were honoured to transport the Queen’s Baton to Orkney. We asked the various Orkney clubs that we sponsor to help us take the baton north! This page has photos of the day when both Orcadians and visitors got the chance to hold the Queen’s baton on board MV Hamnavoe!

Serco NorthLink Ferries unveils new and improved Booking System

Serco NorthLink Ferries unveils new and improved Booking System

Serco NorthLink Ferries is pleased to launch its brand new online booking system, with added features and increased user-friendliness. Customers are now able to book a number of services which were previously unavailable online, including meals, cots and kennels.

Aegir the Wild Dolphin

Aegir the Wild Dolphin

The Wild Dolphin trail is an arts trail of 50 dolphin sculptures around the city of Aberdeen. NorthLink Ferries sponsored a dolphin, named Aegir, who was created in Orkney by artists Gina Ramsay and Sheila Fleet - visit this page to see photos of Aegir's journey!

Community figure honoured at Awards Ceremony

Community figure honoured at Awards Ceremony

Annette Robson, who sadly passed away last month, has been honoured at this year’s Scottish Transport Awards. A Service Manager for Serco NorthLink Ferries, Annette was a ‘go-to’ member of staff when it came to the Pentland Firth route. As a result, she was awarded the Lifetime Contribution to Transport in Scotland.

Simmer Dim Rally 2014

Simmer Dim Rally 2014

The Simmer Dim Rally is the most northern motorcycle rally's in the UK and attracts around 300 bikers who camp in Shetland and enjoy a traditional cruise of the islands. The atmosphere is superb and celebrations usually begin on board our ferry.

Shetland Classic Motor Show 2014

Shetland Classic Motor Show 2014

The Shetland Classic Motor Show took place on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th June, and NorthLink Ferries were delighted to be the main sponsor of the event! Click here to see some photos of the tremendous variety of vehicles that visited the islands.

Orkney Nature Festival Cruise

Orkney Nature Festival Cruise

The finale to the Orkney Nature Festival was a wildlife watching boat tour on the MV Hamnavoe on the 18th May 2014. There were spectacular views up the west coast of Orkney and wonderful wildlife to watch out for!

Stromness From the Sea – animation launch

Stromness From the Sea – animation launch

On the 6th of May 2014 We welcomed on board the MV Hamnavoe P6 Stromness Primary school pupils, teachers, family, friends and others involved with the project for a viewing of a fantastic animated film created by the pupils.

Serco NorthLink Ferries welcomes new look Hjaltland back to service

Serco NorthLink Ferries welcomes new look Hjaltland back to service

Serco NorthLink Ferries is to welcome the MV Hjaltland back to service this week, complete with new livery. Stuart Garrett commented: “Following the extremely positive reception that the Hamnavoe came home to last month, we are looking forward to unveiling the remainder of the fleet.

Stromness Primary School

Stromness Primary School

On 18th February 2014, NorthLink Ferries welcomed Stromness Primary P2's and their teachers to the ferry terminal and onboard MV Hamnavoe. They had a super time on board and visited the bridge, even sitting in the Captain's seat! See the pictures here...

New Hamnavoe Livery

New Hamnavoe Livery

We were delighted to welcome MV Hamnavoe back to service on Friday, 24 January 2014, complete with new livery featuring Magnus the Viking. We've created a page of photos so that you can see her new look for yourself!

Details for Hamnavoe Dry Dock courtesy transport

Details for Hamnavoe Dry Dock courtesy transport

During the MV Hamnavoe 2014 scheduled maintenance period between 6th-23rd January, courtesy transport will be provided via the Stagecoach X1 service between Stromness and St. Margaret’s Hope. Departure times to coincide with Pentland Ferries Departures and arrival are as detailed below. Any passengers wishing to use this service will be able to do so free of charge.

Service disruption -23rd / 24th December

Service disruption -23rd / 24th December

Stuart Garrett, managing director of NorthLink Ferries said: "Due to the severe weather conditions which are forecast over the coming days we have taken the decision to amend our timetable on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December.

Serco NorthLink Ferries helps boost popular Sanday Seal Camera

Serco NorthLink Ferries helps boost popular Sanday Seal Camera

Serco NorthLink Ferries has been announced as the proud sponsor of this year’s Sanday seal camera. Roderick Thorne, Sanday’s ranger, masterminded the ‘sealcam’ last year, attracting seal lovers from 18 different countries during the month of November - the traditional time for grey seals to come up to the shore to give birth.

Serco NorthLink Ferries secures Jet Bus service for passengers

Serco NorthLink Ferries secures Jet Bus service for passengers

Serco NorthLink Ferries has teamed up with bus operator, Stagecoach to provide a new service for ferry passengers. As of this week (Monday, 14 October 2013), those on the Lerwick-Kirkwall-Aberdeen ferry will be greeted by the 727 JET Bus at the NorthLink Aberdeen Terminal, which will travel onto Aberdeen International Airport.

NorthLink Ferries Join the Squad

NorthLink Ferries Join the Squad

County Show spectators might not have bargained for seeing a Viking invasion from Shetland. Stevie Grant’s Lerwick Jarl Squad had been invited to parade with the Kirkwall City Pipe Band following the pipe band’s trip to Shetland in January to play with the Jarl Squad during Up Helly Aa.

Lise Sinclair

Lise Sinclair

Everyone at NorthLink Ferries was deeply saddened to hear the shock news that Lise Sinclair died from a brain tumor, in early August 2013.  Lise was still young and leaves behind a husband and family.  Her talent was outstanding and we were proud to have collaborated with her for the launch of our marketing campaign earlier this year. 

Bottlenose Dolphins in Aberdeen

Bottlenose Dolphins in Aberdeen

Though the Orkney and Shetland Islands are well known as being amongst the best places in Europe for watching wildlife, what is less well known is that you can start your wildlife adventure before you even leave sight of Aberdeen.

NorthLink adds additional freight vessel to meet demand

NorthLink adds additional freight vessel to meet demand

NorthLink Ferries, which connects mainland Scotland with the Orkney and the Shetland Islands, has responded to additional freight traffic volumes by moving from a single freight service to the use of both the MV Hildasay and the MV Helliar two weeks earlier than planned.

Pentland Firth update – 22-5-13

Pentland Firth update – 22-5-13

Stuart Garrett, managing director of Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: “Our technical team worked overnight to fit the Starboard Main Engine vibration damper on the MV Hamnavoe. We will shortly be carrying out sea trials from Scrabster, with the intention of resuming full service tomorrow as originally planned."

Pentland Firth Update

Pentland Firth Update

Stuart Garrett, Managing Director at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: “The MV Hamnavoe returned to Stromness late this morning following completion of the repairs to the starboard engine in Rosyth.

Pentland Firth Update

Pentland Firth Update

Unfortunately, final mechanical checks prior to MV Hamnavoe resuming her timetabled service on Tuesday 21st May have indicated that further remedial work is required. This work will take 48 hrs to complete, therefore the vessel will now pick up her timetabled schedule on Thursday 23rd May.

Return to Service

Return to Service

Serco NorthLink Ferries' managing director Stuart Garrett confirmed today that, allowing for successful sea trials off Rosyth on Sunday, the MV Hamnavoe will return to Orkney on Monday and resume her timetabled service on Tuesday 21 May, three days earlier than expected.

Ferry operator hungry for Shetland food

Ferry operator hungry for Shetland food

With farmers to fishermen, bakers to brewers, Shetland has an extraordinary selection of first class producers.  Serco NorthLink Ferries is interested in providing a wider selection of local products for sale on their ships and, with that in mind, Shetland Islands Council's Economic Development Service is helping to organise a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event in Lerwick on 23rd May.

Freight service brought forward to begin today

Freight service brought forward to begin today

Following alterations carried out over the last couple of days to the Queen Elizabeth berth at Scrabster Harbour, and the subsequent successful testing of the facility, Serco NorthLink Ferries can confirm that freight services will operate from today.

Freight service to operate between Scrabster and Stromness

Freight service to operate between Scrabster and Stromness

Following the withdrawal of MV Hamnavoe from passenger and freight operations between Scrabster and Stromness, Serco NorthLink Ferries has moved to introduce its freight vessel MV Helliar to provide continued regular freight travel between Orkney and Caithness.

MV Hamnavoe to move to Rosyth for repairs

MV Hamnavoe to move to Rosyth for repairs

The MV Hamnavoe will depart Stromness this afternoon and sail south to move to Rosyth.   The vessel will move under its own power, using its remaining engine.  We expect a replacement crankshaft will be dispatched to Rosyth from Germany tomorrow (2 May) in order for the engine repair to be effected.

Scrabster- Stromness Service Update

Scrabster- Stromness Service Update

Following yesterday’s announcement that the Hamnavoe has suffered major engine damage, NorthLink Ferries has been working with passengers and other operators to arrange alternative options for travel.

Hamnavoe Repairs

Hamnavoe Repairs

Stuart Garrett, managing director at Serco NorthLink Ferries, said: "Initial internal and independent assessments of the Hamnavoe ferry, which is currently docked at Stromness, is that the crankshaft on the Starboard engine is irreparable. It will be up to four weeks before the Hamnavoe is back in service on the Pentland Firth crossing."

MV Hamnavoe Disruptions

MV Hamnavoe Disruptions

A spokesperson for Serco NorthLink Ferries said: “We can confirm that the Hamnavoe has experienced a crank shaft failure to its main starboard engine. The vessel will undergo a full inspection this weekend, after which we will know the full extent of the damage.

Serco NorthLink Wows at Tourism Event, Winning Award

Serco NorthLink Wows at Tourism Event, Winning Award

Just two months after launching its new logo and Far Isn’t Far marketing campaign, Serco NorthLink Ferries has been recognised by the tourism industry, winning the accolade for Best Purpose Built Stand at last week’s Visit Scotland Expo at the SECC in Glasgow.

NorthLink Ferries Sponsorship Scheme

NorthLink Ferries Sponsorship Scheme

Serco NorthLink Ferries has a sponsorship scheme available, on application, to schools, sports and community groups – including those involved in the Commonwealth Games -  with an annual value of £100,000.

New Branding

New Branding

At the beginning of 2013 we revealed a new look for NorthLink Ferries. The new face of NorthLink Ferries is Magnus. Our Viking friend represents strength, dynamism, power and pride - a seafarer of old who people can trust to navigate the north sea crossing and take our passengers to explore the northern isles.

Passenger Boarding Process Simplified

Passenger Boarding Process Simplified

Visitors to Orkney and Shetland will no longer need photo identification to board Serco NorthLink Ferries, Managing Director Stuart Garrett announced yesterday (Thursday 22 November 2012).

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