NorthLink Ferries to Orkney and Shetland

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.

Thanks to a gruelling round-the-clock schedule worked by the engineering teams at Serco NorthLink Ferries and Babcock the starboard engine has been repaired and refitted earlier than scheduled following a major crankshaft failure on 25 April.

The MV Hamnavoe will be moved from the wet basin to the river lay-by berth in Rosyth at 0800 on Sunday (19 May) morning ahead of engine trials. If satisfactory she will leave Rosyth on Monday morning, returning to Stromness early that evening.

The NorthLink Ferries freight vessel, the MV Helliar, which has provided continued regular freight travel between Orkney and Caithness while the Hamnavoe was out of service, will then return to its normal timetable.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I was able to update Orkney Islands Council this afternoon with the very latest information from the technical team at Port Babcock in Rosyth, that the MV Hamnavoe may return to the route as early as Tuesday 21 May, some three days earlier than expected. This follows a detailed and challenging programme of repairs, with Chris Adams’ 11-strong team working around the clock.

“With sea trials due to take place on Sunday 19 May, and subject to them being carried out successfully, we would expect her back in Stromness on Monday evening, ready to take up her duties on Tuesday. I would like to thank the engineers for all of their hard work so far. I will of course continue to receive daily updates until the MV Hamnavoe is back on the Scrabster – Stromness route and look forward to seeing her back at work on the Pentland Firth very soon.”

Stuart Garrett, managing director of Serco NorthLink Ferries added: “I would like to thank the engineering team for working tirelessly to ensure this lifeline service is resumed ahead of schedule. I would also like to thank our  customer service staff for ensuring all customers were offered alternative travel plans.

“It was disappointing to have to withdraw the Hamnavoe from service on 26 April after the crankshaft failed. We are confident the engineering works required to return the vessel to service will be completed over the weekend and we look forward to having the Hamnavoe back in Stromness in time for the Orkney Folk festival next week.”

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