This afternoon the Scottish government announced that the new operators of the Northern Isles ferry contract would be Serco.
They will take over the routes to Orkney & Shetland from present provider NorthLink on July 6th. Under the contract the current ferries Hrossey, Hjaltland, Hamnavoe, Helliar & Hildasay will be kept on the routes.
NorthLink which itself had ousted P&O Scottish Ferries in 2002 were reported as being disappointed in losing the contract to Serco. The news in the islands has taken many people by surprise as Serco whilst having experience in many aspects of the maritime world and also including airports, Royal Navy contracts, and even prisons, have only to date been running one ferry service currently on the River Thames in London.
Serco promises changes to the passenger travelling experience right from booking to disembarkation so interesting times lie ahead for both island groups.