October 8, 2019
A new ship which will provide the most environmentally-friendly ferry service in Scotland is set to arrive in Orkney tomorrow (Wednesday 9 October) after making the journey from its shipbuilders in Vietnam. After final fittings and trials, MV Alfred will connect passengers from Orkney to the Scottish mainland on the service already operated by family business Pentland Ferries.
MV Alfred, which set out from Vietnam on 29 August, will run between St Margaret’s Hope and Gills Bay in Caithness. It can hold more passengers than its predecessor, MV Pentalina, with enough space for 430 passengers and 98 cars, or 54 cars and 12 articulated vehicles/coaches. The ship will also have a dog-friendly indoor sun deck lounge in addition to five other seating areas.
The new ferry will undertake its first crossing from St Margaret’s Hope to Gills Bay in Caithness early November, and Pentland Ferries managing director Andrew Banks is delighted with the quality of the ship and the service it is set to deliver.
“This is the most environmentally friendly ferry of its kind in Scotland and its low fuel consumption makes it the greenest way to travel to Orkney,” he said.
“We’re confident that our passengers will love the high quality of the new facilities and the improved capacity onboard.
“We are proud to be bringing this new quality of service to the people of Orkney and to visitors to our islands.”
Anyone wishing to experience the inaugural crossing of the Pentland Firth can book their place on the ferry as usual on the Pentland Ferries website, or by calling the booking line on +44 (0)800 688 8998.
August 30, 2019
Director of Pentland Ferries, Kathryn Scollie, said: “We are delighted that the MV Alfred is now on her way. We are now very much looking forward to introducing her to the St Margaret’s Hope – Gill’s Bay service before the end of the year.
“We are very grateful for all the support we have received and, in particular, all the hard work from our own team, that has helped get us to this stage.
“The arrival and commissioning of this new vessel is hugely significant for us. We are committed to delivering the best possible service for local people and for the many visitors who come to our islands. We are thrilled to be able to make today’s announcement and we await the arrival of the Alfred with great anticipation.”
The MV Alfred, which has been named after Pentland Ferries’ owner and managing director, Andrew Banks’ father, has carrying capacity for 430 passengers and 98 cars, or 54 cars and 12 articulated vehicles/coaches.
Facilities on board includes two lounges with seating, two cafeteria lounges, a children’s play area, an indoor sundeck lounge (where dogs are welcome), outdoor seating area, cafeteria and wheelchair lift.
“All being well, the ship will be here mid October,” said Kathryn, “and we are sure that our customers will really appreciate the enhancement of service it will bring to Orkney.”
June 29, 2018
Local family ferry company Pentland Ferries has said today that it is frustrated by the delay in implementing the Scottish Government’s passenger subsidy. The company have said that they want the Scottish Government RET scheme to reduce passenger fares to go ahead as soon as possible and are just waiting on confirmation that the scheme is legal:
Andrew Banks, Managing Director and Owner of Pentland Ferries said:
“We want this scheme to go ahead as soon as possible, it is good for Orkney and will help us attract more passengers. All we are now waiting for is confirmation that it’s fully legal and then we can get on with implementing it. Our lawyers have told us that because we are a commercial operation and currently receive no subsidy whatsoever, we have to be 100% sure that this scheme complies otherwise our whole business is at risk. We are not sure why it is taking so long to get simple confirmation.
“Although not one penny of the proposed subsidy comes to us, it goes directly to the passenger, we would be forced to pay it all back if it doesn’t comply, that could ruin us and we can’t take that risk. All we are asking for is for the Scottish Government to check that it’s legal with the EU and UK and then we can get on with it.
“We have today asked for a meeting with local MSP Liam MacArthur to see if he can do anything to get things moving forward on our behalf. This is extremely frustrating but as a family run, fully commercial Orcadian business employing 70 people and with exciting expansion plans, we cannot risk our business when we are being told that the scheme may not be legal.”
July 11, 2017
Due to the extension and development of the marshalling area in St Margaret’s Hope, there will be limited customer parking available until further notice. We would advise foot passengers travelling on the ferry that there may not be space available to leave a car at the terminal and to use other transport where possible. Unfortunately, until the extension is complete we can no longer offer long term parking. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause.