NorthLink Ferries news!

NorthLink is responding to the massive influx of visitors expected in Shetland for the Tall Ships event next month by providing an additional southbound sailing from Lerwick on Monday, July 25 - the day after the Tall Ships celebrations come to an end.

NorthLink FerriesMV Hrossey will depart Lerwick at 0900 hours and sail directly for Aberdeen. This is an additional service being put on to allow Tall Ships supporters to watch the conclusion of the event and then to travel south afterwards.

Then, later on Monday July 25, MV Hjaltland will depart Lerwick at 20.00 hours sailing for Kirkwall where she is due to arrive at 01.00 hours. She will depart Kirkwall at 02.00 hours and is due to arrive in Aberdeen at 08.00 on Tuesday, July 26.

NorthLink managing director Bill Davidson said: "The Tall Ships event is providing a huge boost for the Shetland economy and we are experiencing a big demand for places on our boats. All of our scheduled sailings from the Sunday to the Wednesday following the Tall Ships weekend are more or less full already.

"Not until the Thursday after the Tall Ships weekend do we have all aspects (cabin and vehicle capacity) of our service available. The extra daytime sailing on the Monday will provide us with the capacity we need to cope with the demand.

"Any passengers who are already booked to travel south with us and who might find it more convenient to travel on the extra Monday sailing can do so without extra charge simply by contacting us directly. All of the details on the new arrangements are available on our website – http://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/tallships.html/

TALLSHIPS OPPORTUNITY FOR NORTHLINK’S RNLI CRUISERS

NorthLink is stepping up its RNLI fundraising efforts with a unique cruise next month which will provide participants with an opportunity to get 'up close and personal' with the Tall Ships racing fleet.

The cruise, a return trip from Holmsgarth Terminal through Lerwick Harbour passing Breiwick then down to the north of Moussa, takes place on Sunday July 24 when nearly 60 vessels participating in The Tall Ships Races will be sailing in the same waters. All proceeds from the trip go directly to the RNLI.

NorthLink commercial director Cynthia Spencer said: "Some 400 people on board MV Hjaltland will have the opportunity to see these magnificent sailing ships at close range.

"Our cruise gets under way at 13.30 from the Holmsgarth Terminal. At the same time The Tall Ships Race organisers and Lerwick Port Authority will be getting the Tall Ships lined up ready for the start of their race. We will be mingling with the Tall Ships throughout the cruise so this represents maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to see these vessels from close range while at sea," she said.

NorthLink's RNLI cruises and Open Days have become a highlight of the Lifeboat Institution's local fund raising efforts. Earlier this month, as a result of the Lerwick Open Day over £10,000 was raised for the Lerwick lifeboat.

President of the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild, Moira Leask, said "Earlier this month NorthLink laid on the Hrossey and their on-shore facilities for our annual Bressay cruise and over 400 folk supported us by participating.

"With the Tall Ships fleet racing from Lerwick to Stavanger next month we thought that it would provide a great opportunity for Shetlanders and visitors to cruise through the flotilla and still be back in Lerwick in time to take part in all of the special events that will be taking place on the quayside.

"The boat leaves at 13.30 and returns at 16.00. Afternoon tea will be served on board throughout the trip and all for the price of £20 for adults and £10 for children/concessions, children under 5 are free. We do hope that islanders will support us by choosing to be part of this unique opportunity," she said.

Tickets will go on sale from the Lerwick Terminal on Saturday 25th June from 1300 - 1600 and during normal working hours thereafter. Tickets can only be purchased from the terminal face to face and cash will be the only form of payment. Passenger names must be provided at time of purchase.