New freight vessels serving the Northern Isles could also carry up to 200 passengers.
Transport Scotland provided an update on the vessel design options for the replacement NorthLink freight services at this afternoon’s external transport committee of the SIC.
TS’s Richard Hadfield said that while one option was for a standard freight replacement, options were also being considered for a freight “plus” vessel.
Such a vessel would have scope for 200 passengers, with 60 cabins, pods and reclining seats. There would also be a bar and restaurant.
It would offer extra capacity for when passenger vessels are in dry dock.
Mr Hadfield also said the new vessel designs were considering larger and faster designs – while keeping emissions to a minimum.
Designs are expected to be completed later this year, after which a business case will be put together to confirm funding.
Councillor Robbie McGregor said he was “really excited” by the proposals.
More to follow.