Shetlanders hope that Faroese ferry Norröna, which currently sails between Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, soon will reconnect Shetland and the North Atlantic region.
Shetland Islands Council transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said with a Faroe trade envoy due to visit the isles in the coming weeks, the time is right to re-open discussions with operator Smyril Line about reinstating Shetland in its timetable.
Mr. Thomsen told Shetnews.co.uk: “Shetland has a lot to offer and I will be hoping to speak to the Faroese trade envoy who will be visiting Shetland in November to discuss this further. Shetland enjoys close historical (ties) to the north and east and I believe it would be fantastic for Shetland to reopen our direct link to our neighbours,” he added.
Mr. Thomsen emphasized that “Shetland’s increased tourism profile merits reopening discussions over the Norröna stopping off in Lerwick again.”
What is more, it is also understood that Norröna could link into an Arctic Strategy being explored by the Scottish Government to improve connections with countries to the north of Scotland.
Council chief executive Maggie Sandison told Shetnews.co.uk that “the council was recently approached by the Scottish Government to be involved in its new Arctic Strategy, with transport links featuring in discussions.”
Shetland Islands Council, through the then Shetland Development Trust, invested over £4 million in the Faroese ferry in 2002, bringing a direct link with Scandinavia including Bergen.
But in 2007 Shetland was struck off the schedule, much to the dismay of Shetlanders.