Nightmare 30-hour journey for passengers as bad weather forces ferry to dock at Rosyth

Passengers on NorthLink ferry Hjaltland which left Lerwick on Sunday spent more than 30 hours at sea before docking at Rosyth in the early hours of this morning.

The “atrocious” weather left the 87 people stranded on the vessel off Aberdeen for most of the day as the vessel attempted to enter the harbour.

The ferry was supposed to dock in Aberdeen at 7am on Monday after leaving Lerwick at 7pm the previous night. It finally arrived in Rosyth at about 1.24am after a decision made late last night night to take the ferry 100 miles south.

Two attempts were made to get the boat into the harbour at Aberdeen but on both occasions it was deemed unsafe to continue.

A spokesman for Northlink said the passengers were provided with refreshments and those who did not have cabins were allocated spare ones.

Arrangements were made for customers to get back to Aberdeen or to continue on to Edinburgh by coach.

At the time of the decision to divert the ferry, a spokesman said: “We looked at Rosyth as an alternative earlier but discounted it because the severe south westerly winds would have made for an extremely uncomfortable journey.

“The wind is now blowing more from an easterly direction and that will allow us to make the trip south a little easier. The strong winds and wave conditions around Aberdeen were showing no signs of abating.”

As a result of the disruption there will be no sailing from Lewick tonight.

Meanwhile wind and tidal conditions mean the Hrossey’s arrival into Aberdeen has been delayed. The vessel is expected to berth in the city at 1pm, with an expected departure time for Lerwick at 7pm tonight.


Add Your Comment
  • Steve Polson

    • November 8th, 2010 17:04

    Well Northlink gave it a go and that’s the least we can ask them to do! Anyone travelling on the ferries at this time of year knows the risks associated with Aberdeen Harbour and the fact that it might be a bit bumpy.

  • john ridland

    • November 9th, 2010 11:16

    Oh ….. here we go again with the..Who can kick Northlink the hardest time o year.!
    Shetland is in the middle o da North sea and its nearly winter time…..
    You pay your money an take your chance….. !


Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.