Smyril flagship gets 13 million euros refit in Denmark

Faroese shipping company the Smyril Line has upgraded its flagship ferry Norröna, which used to call at Lerwick.

Passengers travelling on the ship between Faroe, Iceland and Denmark are said to have demanded higher levels of comfort.

Smyril has spent 13 million euros on the major refit, which has seen 50 luxury cabins added to the ferry.

The work was done at the Fayard shipyard in Denmark in collaboration with naval architects Hauschildt Marine.

The Norröna, which was built in 2003, formerly used Shetland as a stop-over during a North Sea service which also included Norway.

Shetland Islands Council somewhat controversially invested several million pounds in the Smyril Line, but the investment failed to convince the company to keep Lerwick as a port of call.

The new upgrade has also seen the crew’s cabins moved to a different part of the ship and the abandonment of shared cabins.

Smyril maritime director Jóhan av Reyni said: “There were several different parameters that could have developed into obstacles, including whether the ship could carry more weight, but it turned out to be an extremely interesting retrofit.”

He said Covid-19 had sent shock waves through the industry as Smyril was bidding on the project in March last year. However, after careful consideration, the company decided to move ahead with the plan.

“It seemed hopeless at first, but we discussed it and chose to move forward because the Covid crisis is going to pass at some point,” said Mr Reyni.

Decks five and six of the Norröna had previously been upgraded, so it was now time to do the upper deck, which was entirely re-dimensioned, was given a new outdoors skybar and a new lounge area with a large panoramic view.

Passengers used to buy tickets for berths in shared four-person cabins, but the sales have more or less disappeared. In contrast, the12 luxury cabins were often sold out.

“We have gradually got more comfortable cabins, and there is no doubt that the new 50 cabins will be highly sought-after,” Mr Reyni added.

The refitted ship will set sail for Hirtshals in Denmark on 1st March, and she will resume her North Atlantic route from 6th March.

But will the Norröna ever call at Shetland again? That is the question.


Add Your Comment
  • Eyðfinn Matras Olsen

    • February 11th, 2021 11:00

    Yes “Norrøna” will come back to Shetland if you are able to proof that there´s profit in it, which means you have to be good at selling your country as a tourist attraction. Why should Germans ( which are the biggest number of passengers during summertime, high season) not be interested in exploring Shetland as well as Iceland and Faroe? On the other hand i´m sure they will not call for Shetland if there is non profit in it. It´s all about making money. Also the harbour dutys must be on a level that both parties can live with. I´m a Faroe man myself living in Shetland at present time, but i´m not able to live here with the poor connections both to Faroe and Scandinavia. So go for it and do a good job about it.

    • Charles Tait

      • February 11th, 2021 18:37

      Orkney would likely be a much more profitable stop off.


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.