Transport provider NorthLink signs up as Tall Ships sponsor

Tuesday 28th February 2023

Ferry operator NorthLink has come on board as one of the sponsors for this summer’s Tall Ships in Lerwick. 

The transport provider is offering discounted fares to support crew changes for ships that have crew members who are either joining or leaving their vessel in Lerwick. 

The scale of the four-day event, taking place from 26-29 July, means a significant volume of production equipment as well as people will need to be transported to Shetland and NorthLink is also supporting that effort in its role as official transport provider. 

Shetland Tall Ships Ltd project manager Emma Miller said the organisers were very thankful to have secured NorthLink’s invaluable assistance. 

“Staging an event of this size in Shetland involves significant logistical challenges and NorthLink has been absolutely fantastic in helping us to coordinate the movement of all the event infrastructure that needs to be brought in,” she said.  

As the operator of the islands’ lifeline ferry service, NorthLink performs a vitally important role in connecting Shetland to the wider world. Its maritime connections extend to having a staff member who has benefited greatly from the sail training experience connected to the Tall Ships event. 

The company’s marine superintendent, Amber Johnson, took part in sail training in the summer of 2010 prior to beginning a career in the merchant navy. 

She said: “I’m really pleased that NorthLink is supporting the event. It is of massive importance for Shetland to have so many folk coming to visit our islands and enjoy the magnificent Tall Ships spectacle.” 

Amber, who attributes her passion for seafaring to her Unst upbringing, has worked her way up through the ranks since returning to Shetland to join NorthLink in 2014. 

She thoroughly recommends sail training, open to anyone aged 15-25, to young people with a whole range of backgrounds and interests. 

“A lot of young people will never have been to sea, and many will never have worked and lived in such an enclosed environment as part of a team,” Amber said. 

“It teaches you how to get on with people who may be completely different to you, working towards a shared goal while having fun along the way and making friendships that can last your whole life.  “It might inspire folk to go to sea as it did with me, but the wider life skills you learn is the important bit. I can’t underestimate the development you can get in such a short space of time.”

Header image: From left to right: John Daly, Jessica Irvine, Captain Andy O’Brian, Shetland Tall Ships project manager Emma Miller and Lonnie Paton photo © Copyright Lakota Clubb/Shetland Tall Ships Ltd.