Summer ferry to run between North Berwick and Fife

Picture: Rob McDougall
Picture: Rob McDougall
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A new service based on the ‘Pilgrims’ Ferry’ dating back to as least 950AD linking East Lothian and Fife is being launched next month.

The Forth Ferry, will make her maiden voyage on 7 August linking North Berwick to Anstruther for around one month initially. The service will be extended if demand is high.

Reinstating this 1,000 year old ferry service will benefit both communities and strengthen the links between East Lothian and Fife.

Tom Brock

Locals and tourists will be able to sail between the two popular seaside towns on a journey taking around 45 minutes each way rather than spend two hours in busy traffic.

Tickets for the passenger only service cost £25 for adults, £15 for children aged 4 to 16 and £20 for those aged 60-plus.

The aim of the venture - a joint collaboration between the Scottish Seabird Centre and Safari Adventures - is to strengthen tourism links across Scotland.

This new excursion has roots in a long and rich history, with Pilgrim boat trips between North Berwick and Fife.

The ‘Pilgrims’ Ferry’ transported religious worshipers across the Forth to visit the relics of Scotland’s patron saint at St Andrews. At its height, some 10,000 pilgrims made the crossing every year.

But passengers will have a far more comfortable journey travelling on the custom-built, 55-seat, Seafari Explorer launched in March 2013.

Colin Aston, managing director of Seafari Adventures, said: “This is a new excursion project we have been working on for some time and it’s fantastic to be launching our maiden voyage on 7 August. To be able to travel between Fife and East Lothian in under an hour is brilliant for locals and tourists, a unique experience, which we look forward to building on in the future.”

Tom Brock OBE, chief executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “At the Seabird Centre we are committed to offering our visitors exceptional experiences and this trip between two beautiful seaside towns will be a wonderful asset for locals and visitors.

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“Reinstating this 1,000 year old ferry service will benefit both communities and strengthen the links between East Lothian and Fife.”

Councillor Russell Imrie, chair of SEStran (South East Scotland Transport Partnership), said: “SEStran believes that the Forth Estuary should be a highway, not a barrier, which is why we have worked with Seafari Adventures and the Seabird Centre to establish the new ferry service, which will enhance access across the estuary and give improved access between destinations in Fife and East Lothian.

“The project has been made possible through partnership working between SEStran and East Lothian Council and substantial European funding which enabled the improvements to Galloways Pier, which now offers improved access to vessels during low tide.

“We are proud to be involved on a project that both reinstates historical links and establishes a new and improved service for local residents and visitors alike.”