NORTHLINK Ferries has confirmed the schedule for the forthcoming annual refit on its passenger ferries Hrossey and Hjaltland.
The survey and refit period will begin on Saturday, 31st January when the Hrossey will depart from Lerwick for dry-dock in Denmark after completion of that morning’s Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick service.
Each vessel will be out of service for a little over two weeks and during the total five-week period when the two passenger vessels are out of service, and the normal service is reduced to alternate nights, the freight vessels Hascosay and Clare will run to a modified timetable.
The modified freight timetable will ensure regular freight flows north and south but, importantly, each of these vessels has accommodation for up to 12 passengers per trip. The freight vessel schedules will be modified to ensure that as the remaining passenger ferry sails north or south there will be a freight boat with limited passenger accommodation sailing in the other direction.
The dry-dock schedule for each vessel has been extended by three days to allow close inspection of the stabilizers which have proved troublesome in the past but also to allow for the application of a new, drag-resistant paint to the underwater parts of the ships.
The new, Teflon-like paint, discourages weed and barnacle growth and promotes better fuel economy. Unlike some chemical, antifouling paints the Intersleek 900, which NorthLink will use, is said to be much more environmentally friendly.
This timetable, based on passenger feedback from previous years, preserves the popular Friday Lerwick-Kirkwall-Aberdeen and the Sunday Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick services. As a consequence this means there is no passenger ship service on Saturdays.
Timetable beginning Saturday, 31st January.
Saturday, No service