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No replacement vessel to cover Scrabster route during Hamnavoe refit

MV Hamnavoe is due to go on a fortnight’s refit, this coming January and February.

The lifeline ferry service between Stromness and Scrabster will cease operation completely for a fortnight this winter, NorthLink Ferries has confirmed.

The route is to be shutdown from January 31 until February 13 while mv Hamnavoe goes into dry dock for maintenance.

The vessel’s dry dock period period has proved controversial in recent, with NorthLink’s use of freight vessel mv Helliar sparking concerns over accessibility.

Confirming this Monday that this refit period would not be covered by any replacement vessel, the ferry company has revealed plans to expand the Kirkwall Aberdeen route during this period in order to mitigate disruption.

Captain John Strathearn, Serco’s operations director at NorthLink Ferries, said: “Dry dock upgrades are crucial to maintain the safety and comfort of our vessels.

“We appreciate the impact that the changes have on passengers and the scheduled dry dock period for mv Hamnavoe has been designed to minimise disruption, with Scrabster Harbour carrying out maintenance at the same time and activity taking place during the quietest time of year for both passenger and freight shipments.

 “During the dry dock period of Monday, January 31 – Sunday, February 13, we will operate a revised timetable on the Aberdeen to Kirkwall and Lerwick route, providing daily north and south sailings into Kirkwall.”