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The North Boat (Northlink ferries)


Where should the North Boat dock?  

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  1. 1. Where should the North Boat dock?

    • Aberdeen
    • Rosyth
    • Peterhead
    • Barbados

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i strongly disaggree infiltrator, if you think that the regular ferry means stocked shelves in shops, frequent deliveries from online orders (except a certain shipping company whos another thread all togther), businesses in shetland require a daily service.

if you need a part for your car, most of the time it can be delivered next day (if you know how). i also belive that a frequent service keeps frieight prices down because if it was only every 3 days say then companies need bigger wharhousing on the mainland to store everything.


also the flexibility of a daily service means if a member of family is sick today (south relitives) you could be in aberdeen tomorrow morning for £30.00 (roughly) if the ferry service was to go to 3 a week you could wait days or have the hugely expensive flight costs.


i also belive that reucing the frequency wouldnt reduce the cost to passengers it may reduce the subsidy given though, but the costs of crew, maintance etc would largley reamain the same, of course you would save on fuel.


i for one, and know of many others who regard a daily ferry service as hugely importantant to island life!


on a side note the same thinking could be employed for interisland ferries, for myself i consider nearly £5 for a return journey by foot to bressay expensive, so why not make it £1.00 return but only 2 crossing per day? dont think the islanders would like that and i dont blame them. anyway i digress!

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The prices for cabin accommodation are the modern day equivalent of Dick Turpin & the highway robbers.


They could easily reduce the cost of a cabin by £60. The only thing is, every passenger ticket would need to go up by about £40.


Northlink needs to balance its books. Reductions could easily happen, however the money will still need to come from somewhere. The costs are the costs - like it or not! Never mind though, when we become independent we will have to contribute to the tunew of an extra £36m a year - I guess ticket prices will be £200 each way with an extra £400 for a cabin then.

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I'd really like to go to Shetland this Summer; my oldest is 16, so he counts as an adult.


Four adults + car + cabin (return journey) costs a massive £740.60 ! :shock:


Add to that, the fuel to get to and from Aberdeen and to be used to travel around Shetland and the total will be close to £900 . Four of us flew to Murcia in Spain last year, for a lot less than that !


I've not even allowed for food/meals, accommodation etc., etc.


Trouble is, it makes it difficult to 'justify' the cost to the Missus . :(


The big 'problem' with the ferry, is that obviously, it all has to be paid up front, which means a considerable 'hit' to the finances. If I could spread the costs, it'd be easier to pay for. At least, with the accommodation, I pay a deposit and settle the balance on arrival.


Mind you, were we to fly to Shetland and then hire a car, it'd cost even more . . . . . . . . and we'd face luggage restrictions.


We'd like to go to Shetland a lot more; but when we consider the travel costs in relation to other alternatives (holidaying in warmer climes), we find it difficult to justify the cost.


I wonder if there are any others in my situation ?


Leave the car and hire when you get here. Yo also have the option of flying and hiring. It usually works out cheaper that way.

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its two return trips. the same as the older youths and disabled. plus the disabled get an exta saving on a car i think its 10-20% plus a free cabin. the youths get a share of a cabin. all this must put quite a bit onto the normal ticket price. thou i think it should be free for a disabled car. the students get another discount for being students as well.

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The family & friends scheme usually runs from April to June and (if Northlink are still there) from September until just before Christmas.


My brother and sister are visiting us in May and are paying £63-40 each for the return trip with a reclining seat each. I think that is good value and if I am able to get them a 30% discount as well then they will be very pleased.


I saw a letter in the Shetland Times, 2 or 3 weeks back, where there was a suggestion of a 5.5 hours service between Lerwick & Scrabster. I think that would be a terrific alternative route if it were to get started. Any likliehood of it happening?

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To be honest I think the Ferry is not bad value. When you consider Islanders get a discount and then you can nominate friends and family. Also pensioners get 1 free sailing every year.

I just wish they would do something about the food.


Personally when travelling with a child even without an islander discount flying is by far cheaper than going by boat. The ONLY redeeming feature of the boat (apart from the not having to book at least 4weeks in advance) is the food. If you have a child who wont eat greasy food, the restaurant is fantastic, children are totally spoilt, and priced (compared to the last time I was unwise enough to brave the grill) quite favourably.


I compare taking 4 of us rtn Aberdeen to Edinburgh by train, 2nights accommodation in city centre = £122.

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Personally when travelling with a child even without an islander discount flying is by far cheaper than going by boat.


I think that argument is a little simplistic. It may be cheaper to fly, in certain circumstances - if you live close to the airport and if you have relations to pick you up at Sumburgh and you don't need to hire a car.


And flying to Sumburgh - from where, exactly ? I live in Shropshire; if I fly from Manchester/Liverpool it will be a great deal more expensive.


If I fly to Sumburgh, just how much would it be to hire a car for 10 - 14 days ? Of course, if we fly, we can't take 'stuff' for the kids - 'cos there'll be a restriction on luggage.


Oh yes, if driving up, at least I can take benefit of the much cheaper fuel in Aberdeen and fill up before I get on the ferry :)

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if your travelling from shropshire then get the train. use a family rail card and try splitting your journey. its quite cheap to get to aberdeen if your careful. the coach is the cheapest but the timings probably won't work. get your family to get you the discount on the ferry. and hire the car from someone like star. it really is cheaper to hire up here than to ferry your car across.

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i thought of the coach but they have children and the bus from manchester arrives quite close to the departure time adding on the couple of extra hours would mean a very long day or a sleepover at aberdeen.


i was quite shocked how much you can save if you buy seperate ticket for diffrent bits of the journey.

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i strongly disaggree infiltrator, if you think that the regular ferry means stocked shelves in shops, frequent deliveries from online orders (except a certain shipping company whos another thread all togther), businesses in shetland require a daily service. blame them.


I think we'll just have to disagree then. There's been many cancellations this winter and last, I don't think life on Shetland came to a complete stop.


Interesting you mention the inter island ferries, there are similarities...


Why should the rest of the Scottish taxpayers pay for the convenience of someone living on Shetland being able to get a part for their car without having to wait a couple of days?


In the same way that why should folk who live on the Shetland mainland subsidise the inter island ferries to give the islanders freedom to travel in and out of the isles reasonably cheaply with a fairly regular service.


Is there some EU law I've missed that says choosing to live on a remote island should no longer be an inconvience?


I know in both cases there are many other considerations, the point I'm making is that the service needs to be efficient and fit for purpose. Any service that relies on a huge subsidy will always be under scrutiny and threat.


If folk want a regular service, they need to be prepared to pay for it, running the Northlink between Aberdeen and Lerwick in winter with a dozen passengers is economic lunacy - there may be a cargo argument but there are cheaper ways to ship cargo than using the Northlink ferries.

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