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Caithness News Bulletins June 2007
Superferry "Norröna" Puts Scrabster On
International Route Map
The superferry Norröna owned by Smyril Line was welcomed on Monday evening with bagpipes and champagne as a new ferry service to Norway and the Faroe Islands became a reality. This is Scotland's first mainland ferry service to these countries.
The quayside welcome for the north Atlantic superferry Norröna at Scrabster, Caithness, marked the launch of the country's newest mainland international service.
Thousands of holiday-makers from the two Nordic states are expected to arrive in the Highlands this summer using the weekly service.
Last night’s maiden sailing from the Faroese capital Torshavn trip saw VIPs from the islands government among the 150 or so passengers disembarking at Scrabster. The ferry is built to the highest quality standards and is rated amongst the top cruise liners offering passengers a fantastic stay on board.
They were welcomed ashore by port officials to the sound of the pipes and drums of Caithness Junior Pipe Band.
After clearing customs, they were bussed to a nearby hotel for a champagne reception with local dignatories.
The arrival of the 36,000-tonne Norröna means Scotland now has two mainland international ferry connections after the Rosyth-Zebrugge service.
Faroese operator Smyril Line's decision to return to Scrabster after a decade is a welcome boost to efforts to regenerate the economy of Caithness.
William Calder, chairman of Scrabster Harbour Trust, said: "We have worked very hard to establish Scrabster and Caithness as a quality destination and the inclusion of Scrabster on the itinerary of the Norröna promises to generate more new business in tourism and trade for the region.
"There are strong business ties between Caithness and the Faroe Islands and these can only be strengthened by the new service. Since 1996, a twice-weekly cargo service has run from Faroes to Scrabster, bringing an average of 28,000 tonnes of fish through the harbour each year.
"In addition, the cumulative value of fish landings made by Faroese fishing vessels at Scrabster over the last five years has exceeded £50 million. It's estimated that the Norröna will be worth in excess of £2 million to the Highland economy.
"The Faroes is an important trading partner for Scrabster and the Highlands. Vessel maintenance, renewable energy, oil production and logistics offer significant opportunities to strengthen and expand our links further."
The Norröna berthed at Scrabster at 2100 hrs and sailed later in the evening for Bergen.
Description Of The Ship
Many modern facilities
A tranquil ship
Large cargo space
The daily operation of the ship