MV Hamnavoe

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MV Hamnavoe at Scrabster Harbour
Career (UK) Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: MV Hamnavoe
Operator: Northlink Ferries
Route: Scrabster to Stromness, Orkney

Aker Finnyards

Engine Builders: MAK
Cost: £28,000,000
Yard number: 440
Laid down: 27 November 2001 (metal cutting)[1]
Launched: June 2002 (float-out)[2]
Christened: 19 October 2002[3]
by Mrs Linda Harcus
Completed: 2002
In service: 01 April 2003[4]
Homeport: Kirkwall
Identification: IMO number: 9246061
MMSI Number: 235449000
Callsign: VSTY7
Status: in service
General characteristics
Class and type: Passenger ferry
Type: Steel DSMV Roll-on/roll-off
Displacement: GRT: 8940 tons
Length: 112m[5]
Beam: 18.5m
Draught: 4.4m
Installed power: 2 x Diesel fuel providing 8,680 kW or 11640 BHP
Speed: 20.8 knots
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2 Rigid lifeboats plus RIB fast rescue craft and inflatable liferafts
Capacity: Cars: 98
Complement: Passengers: 600

Northlink Ferries' car and passenger ferry, MV Hamnavoe operates across the Pentland Firth to Orkney.


MV Hamnavoe was introduced to the service in 2003, the first ferry to have been specifically built for the Pentland Firth route. Hamnavoe, the old Norse name for Stromness, means 'Home Port' or 'Safe Haven'.[3]


MV Hamnavoe was the third vessel in build sequence at the Aker Finnyards in Finland. Facilities include passenger lounges and bars, a self service restaurant, a children's playroom, a sun deck and a games room. 2- and 4-berth cabins are all en-suite. There are specially-adapted cabins for the disabled and wheelchair access throughout the ship.


MV Hamnavoe operates the Pentland Firth lifeline ferry service between Scrabster in Caithness and Stromness in Orkney. The journey takes approximately 90 minutes. She sails up to six times a day, and carries approximately 155,000 passengers every year. During the summer, overnight accommodation is available on board in Stromness before the 6.30am sailing. This route gives a superb view of the spectacular sea stack - the Old Man of Hoy, and the tallest vertical cliff face in Britain - St Johns Head.

New piers and a walkway have been built at Scrabster and Stromness specifically for the MV Hamnavoe, which can take both foot and car passengers. The ship and walkway are fitted with lifts and have been built to accommodate disabled passengers, both boarding and throughout the ship.

Volcanic Ash Cloud

In April 2010 as the Volcanic Ash Cloud from Iceland closed much of Europe's airspace, MV Hamnavoe was taken off her normal route for 3 days and sent to Bergen in Norway to rescue stranded British residents. More than 150 passengers[6] took the 18 hour trip from Bergen to Aberdeen. On returning to her usual route, MV Hamnavoe did an unscheduled trip from Aberdeen to Stromness in Orkney carrying passengers.[7]


MV Hamnavoe was in dry dock (Cammell Lairds, Birkenhead)from 14 to 28 February 2010 undergoing annual maintenance.

External links