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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 October 2006, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
Plan to restore Faroe ferry link
Scrabster harbour (Pic Undiscovered Scotland)
The operator sees tourism opportunities in Scrabster
Talks aimed at restoring ferry links between the Faroe Islands and Caithness have begun.

A successful outcome would pave the way for a weekly docking at Scrabster by the 35,000-tonne ferry Norrona.

The proposed schedule would connect the Highlands port with the Faroese capital Torshavn for the first time since the link was broken in the 1990s.

The proposal is part of changes to the ferry's North Atlantic itinerary by the state-owned Smyril Line.

The Faroese connection with Scrabster was forged in 1983 when the route was plied by the Smyril.

That sparked several public-funded trade missions to the Faroes and a number of business tie-ups.

Family holidays

The link was broken when the ferry's Scottish mainland connection was switched to Aberdeen.

The mooted re-establishment of Scrabster is at the expense of Lerwick, which will next summer see much less of the 163-metre long Norrona.

Smyril Line's marketing manager, Hendrik Egholm, said the company is keen to use Scrabster as a base for Faroese family holidays in the Highlands.

The company hopes the changes can stem the big losses it has incurred on its North Atlantic sailings over the winter since the launch of its 60m vessel four years ago.


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