Orkney Ferries is advising customers that onboard catering will resume on Outer North Isles vessels once an easing of Covid-19 restrictions permits this.
Current social distancing restrictions – and the layout of the Earl Sigurd, Earl Thorfinn and the Varagen – make it impossible to provide food and drinks on the ferries at present.
The company’s Ferry Services Manager, Andrew Blake, said: “We’re aware that regular ferry users on the Outer North Isles routes would like to see catering facilities re-introduced on the three vessels.
“We follow Scottish Government and Environmental Health guidance on this. The way the canteens are positioned on the Earls and the Varagen makes it make it impracticable to maintain current social distancing requirements were they to re-open at present.
“We are keen to do this when we can. But compared to other ferry operators, the age of our vessels puts us at a serious disadvantage when it comes to providing onboard catering.”
He added: “Our key priority is to ensure that we can continue to provide the lifeline service for our isles communities.
“But I would like to assure passengers that catering services on board will resume when there is relaxation in the regulations.”