A FERRY service across the Forth, based on the short voyage taken by pilgrims 1000 years ago, is to officially launch this weekend.
The Forth Ferry will make its official maiden voyage on Saturday from North Berwick in East Lothian to Anstruther in Fife.
The route replicates that of the “Pilgrims’ Ferry” used by thousands of worshippers to visit the relics of Scotland’s patron saint at St Andrews as far back as 950AD. At its height, some 10,000 pilgrims made the crossing every year.
Reinstating the service between the two seaside towns aims to “forge closer tourism links between East Lothian and Fife”.
The journey on the 55-seat catamaran takes just 45 minutes in contrast to around two hours by road.
Run by Seafari Adventures and the Scottish Seabird Centre, the official launch follows a successful one month trial last year.
Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said: “With a long and rich history, this crossing was previously the ‘Pilgrim’s Ferry’ dating back over 1000 years and used by pilgrims on their way to St Andrews.
“It has been wonderful, not only to reinstate this historic route, but to experience a demand for it to continue.
“This innovative service will benefit locals, visitors and communities on both sides of the Forth.”
Officials have worked in partnership with Fife Council, East Lothian Council, the Scottish Fisheries Museum, East Neuk Tourist Association and North Berwick Business Association on visitor itineraries.
Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted that the Forth Ferry is to return and the opportunities it will bring for tourism in the area.
“From the majestic Tantallon Castle in East Lothian to the beautiful seaside village of Anstruther in Fife, this innovative service will make it even easier for visitors to explore the many attractions on both sides of the water.”