Shetlanders got their first sight of the new NorthLink cargo boat on Monday when the Hildasay arrived in Lerwick.
The vessel will be renamed on Wednesday by 12-year-old Sophie Wishart, who won a competition by suggesting the name. She is to receive a prize of four return trips with cabin for two and car, or equivalent, on one of NorthLink’s passenger ships.
Built in 1999, the Hildasay is being time-chartered from her owners Seatruck Ferries of Heysham, and is expected to be an improvement on her predecessor, the 38-year-old Hascosay. As well as freight she can also accommodate up to 12 passengers with en-suite twin-bunk cabins.
According to NorthLink the time-charter arrangement, similar to that used with the company’s other cargo boat Clare, is a standard industry practice which represents good value for money.
Assurances have been given to the 40 crewmembers on the Hascosay that they will be retained and redeployed on the company’s other vessels.