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Plan for Shetland and Norway link


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Originally posted on Friday, 4 April 2008 at news.bbc.co.uk


Plans to run a freight ferry service linking Norway with Shetland, mainland Scotland and Europe are under way.


BBC Scotland can reveal a contract, subject to European funding, has been awarded to a Shetland business to run the service with two ships.


One will operate between Norway, Rosyth and Zeebrugge and the other between Norway and Lerwick, with connections to Orkney, Aberdeen and Scrabster.


The aim is to shift significant volumes of freight from road to sea.


The new services could be up and running as early as November.

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The Norwegian port would appear to be Kristiansund



John White has been prominent in various previous businesses, including Bus operation, Salmon farming and a boat building yard near Glasgow.


The scheme draws upon the "Marco Polo" European funding to provide sea and canal borne trade links to reduce lorry transportation by road, increasing efficiency and reducing fuel consumption and associated environmental issues.

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What are they hoping to transport between Shetland and Kristiansund? Oil related stuff would of course be the first guess, but wouldn't a different port (Bergen for instance) be more viable? I know the point is that its going to be a route with calls in Norway, Shetland, (Scotland?) and the continent, but they have to have something to transport between each port to make it economic dont they? I hope the planners know something we don't here...

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If i heard correctly the vessel will only carry about 12 passengers.


The service seems to me to be very reminiscent of the Smyril Line service that ran here prior to the Norrona, with the freight vessel Blikur calling at Scalloway periodically on route between several other ports and carrying only a handful of passengers. It was a viable service at that time and that was pretty much before salmon farming took off in Shetland in a large way, i would imagine there would be more potential freight now of all types.


The old cold store on the Scalloway pier was a key part in the freight chain, i can't recall what the main product was, perhaps frozen fish from the Iceatlantic factory, but as i was quite young at that time my only memory of the contents of the store was the frozen pig-heads on route to Faroe.

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