MV Hamnavoe travelling to Stromness in Orkney

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 and MV Hrossey and MV Hjaltland on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route from 10 – 13 February and 17 – 20 February.

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

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