Ferries

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Ferries

Post  terry lees on Thu May 01 2014, 16:16

I've been on countless ferries over the years, and had some good and some awful experiences, poor food, bad service etc. However, last week went over to Shetland Isles to take some household items for Chris. Took the Northlink ferry from Aberdeen to Lerwick and back, and must say its the best ferry I've ever been on. Its not a large vessel, in fact its pretty small considering it has to ply the north Atlantic, but the service, cleanliness, excellent and courteous staff are well above the norm. But the food! normal ferry food is at best lukewarm and unappetising (worst experience DFDS) and well overpriced. But the food on Northlink was excellent and reasonably priced. I don't suppose many will want to take their bikes over for a trip (you'll see most of what's to see in a couple of days) but if you do, you will enjoy the ferry experience.
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Re: Ferries

Post  SteveCat on Thu May 01 2014, 20:13

That's good to know, thanks Tes, might put the Shetlands on my to do list. I'm assuming you didn't go by bike, were there any on there and if so did you notice how the staff handled the tie downs?
I'm not keen on P&O's stance on dump the straps next to the bike and expect you to sort yourself out using your gloves for bike protection.
How long does the trip take?
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Re: Ferries

Post  Eddie990 on Thu May 01 2014, 20:41

Hi Steve, I took the bike up last year. They strap them down well, you can watch if you like. I did the same with my gloves, put them over the seat as they strapped down.

They well used to bikes as there is a rally called Simmer Dim (local phrase for midsummer period when it never really gets dark) which attracts loads of bikers every year.

If you ever decide to make the journey, there's always space at my house for you to stay. I live in a wee town called Scalloway on the west coast of mainland Shetland, it's a fishing port and the seafood is incredible.

It's an overnight ferry, 12-14 hrs depending on whether it calls at Kirkwall, Orkney enroute.

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Re: Ferries

Post  SteveCat on Thu May 01 2014, 21:32

I'm amazed by the bike rallies they have up there, there's a fairly big one on the Orkney 'mainland' (Kirkwall). I was asked when I was on Rousey (Orkney) if I'd be going to it.
Good to know there is an Orkney option too to get to the Shetlands, come to think of it I think I saw the ferry but didn't take a lot of notice as I was trying to recover from sea sickness on the ferry over from Scotland  sad 

Thank you for your offer, I'll be doing the trip when I'm in the 'area' which means around the BigMac, so you probably won't be home. I did Rousey after the last Braemar BM in 2010, was the only one heading North after the event!

Worthy of a  Igor  though.
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Re: Ferries

Post  Eddie990 on Thu May 01 2014, 21:35

Even if I'm not home I'm sure we could sort something out mate. Keep me posted of the plans, if it's Big Mac we may even travel to/from together.

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Re: Ferries

Post  bobh on Thu May 01 2014, 22:17

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I'm not keen on P&O's stance on dump the straps next to the bike and expect you to sort yourself out using your gloves for bike protection.

Agreed. That's why I've been using MyFerryLink (ex-SeaFrance) rather than P&O on the Dover-Calais route - they have proper bike docks that you ride into and two of their guys tie the bike down with straps from the pillion rests. Had a very rough crossing a few autumns ago, and the bikes were fine. Only problem can be backing out - unless you have a Wing, like the guy I was next to on that same rough crossing - they have a reverse gear!
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Re: Ferries

Post  Wooster on Thu May 01 2014, 22:56

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
If you ever decide to make the journey, there's always space at my house for you to stay. I live in a wee town called Scalloway on the west coast of mainland Shetland, it's a fishing port and the seafood is incredible.

Could I have seen your house from here?  Very Happy 
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

(That's from 2008, but been up there quite a few times. We did IT work for the Tesco store in Lerwick and I've had a few visits over the years to fix stuff they broke.  tongue )
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Re: Ferries

Post  Eddie990 on Thu May 01 2014, 23:01

Yup, second red house in from the left in the foreground!

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Re: Ferries

Post  Rosco on Fri May 02 2014, 07:23

Every time I've been on a ferry with you Terry you've moaned about something (normally justifiably though) or you've contracted some winter vomiting / arse buckling disease that you've then shared with me and others in the group.

You're a grumpy old man at the best of times Terry (I'm in training) so that ferry must be impressive and worth trying. Wink

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Re: Ferries

Post  terry lees on Fri May 02 2014, 09:06

Cheeky JOCK git.
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Re: Ferries

Post  Rosco on Fri May 02 2014, 10:42

Oi! No need to be racialist - ya sassenach.
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Re: Ferries

Post  SteveCat on Fri May 02 2014, 11:15

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Took the Northlink ferry
I thought the name was familiar, have been with them on the Scrabster - Stromness route  Exclamation 

Agree, the service on board is very good. As I mentioned above, my first crossing left me a tad green around the gills, combination I think of a dodgy breakfast and strong tidal currents of the Pentland Firth.

It a 2 hour crossing, but they offer a B&B service in Stromness - quite a nifty idea. You check in from around 21:30, you leave your vehicle on the quayside in a locked compound (handing over your keys) and take what you need for the night. The ferry staff drive / ride all the vehicles on in the morning. You get shown to your cabin and then left. From what I could see the staff leave the ferry and the ship is left 'in the hands' of the passengers! None of the shops or restaurants are open.

I was woken by the vibration from the engines, we were departing. Enough time to get ready and go for breakfast.
Only disconcerting thing is when you arrive at Scrabster and head down to the car deck you don't know where they parked the bike! They do tell you what level it's on when they give your keys back.

Quite a civilised way to do early morning ferry trips, no need to get up pre [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] in a B&B somewhere, grab breakfast and rush to the port and wait to be checked in.
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