The latest vessel to link Orkney and the Scottish mainland via the Pentland Firth has arrived in local waters.
MV Alfred, which joins the MV Pentalina in the Pentland Ferries fleet, is being hailed as the most environmentally-friendly ferry service of its kind in Scotland, with a shore-based wind turbine providing power when the vessel is docked overnight and energy efficient LED lighting throughout onboard.
The ship was built in Vietnam and left the country at the end of August, plotting a course for its home port of St Margaret's Hope. It arrived this morning (Wednesday 9th October), passing its sister ship en-route.
MV Alfred will feature a dog-friendly indoor sun deck lounge as well as five other seating areas. It's significantly bigger than the MV Pentalina too, with space for up to 430 passengers and 98 cars, or 54 cars and 12 articulated vehicles/coaches.
After final fittings and trials, the new ferry will make its first crossing from St Margaret's Hope to Gills Bay in Caithness in early November, marking another milestone for this family-run business. Pentland Ferries managing director, Andrew Banks, said he was 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 standard of service to the people of Orkney and to visitors to our islands.”