FěROYAR 2017

The Faroe Islands again


faroes flag

This is a site of historical record and does not contain current service information.

Hendan sÝ­an vÝsur gamlar tÝ­arŠtlanir og ikki tŠr i­ eru galdandi n˙.        Denne side viser gamle k°replaner og ikke de aktuelle tider.

Although here in 2017 it is eight years since I have visited the Faroe Islands myself it is possible to give some updates to the transport scene there thanks to two correspondents Malc McDonald and Renno Hokwerda who travelled there in summer 2017 and recorded some notes and observations. The inter-island ferries and interurban buses are operated by a publicly owned company SSL, the buses using the Bygdalei­ir fleet name. In the capital and other municipalities around the islands the local routes are operated under the Busslei­in name (in Tˇrshavn, Klaksvik, Sunda and Eystur).


Strandfaraskip Landsins (SSL) has no noteworthy changes. Renno observed that a big share of the users were tourists, and his impression was that in the winter months it must be a hugely ineffective - but good quality - service. The Su­uroy ferry from Tˇrshavn now sails three trips every day, with connecting bus services. However there are no connecting buses provided on route 300 from the airport for the new SAS flights (which compete with the Faroese flag carrier Atlantic Airways).

2017 was centennial anniversary year and Renno attended the 100 year anniversary of SSL in Tv°royri. The director was asked about how the 11 kilometre road tunnel under construction from Tˇrshavn to Eysturoy will change the system in the future but the response was that there was still plenty of time left to figure that out before the target completion date of 2020.

SSl emblem
Other activities on the anniversary day included a panel discussion about ferry timetables to outposts, a historic lecture about ferries, debates about ferries, photos of ferries, statistics about ferries, ferries, ferries ferries ...

The Faroese minister of transport (a Su­uroy man) had just announced an official exploration study for a tunnel from Sandoy to Su­uroy, via Sk˙voy. I sense that this tunnel is only a matter of time rather than money. The minister was asked if the Su­uroy ferry would reroute to Sandoy, at least temporarily, after the 10 kilometre Sandoyartunnilin opens from Streymoy in 2023. Sandur to Hvalba would be a much shorter trip which could allow higher frequencies. He immediately said no, not worth the investment (two new terminals), a difficult route (currents), and more trips aren't necessary since only the morning trip to Tˇrshavn and evening trip to Su­uroy are well used. But mostly he liked how the beauty of a ship like Smyril manoeuvring past the prime minister's office thrice-daily to remind Tˇrshavn of Su­uroy's existence  ...

Suduroy ferry Smyril

Renno noted the night bus running from Tˇrshavn to Vßgar on Saturday/Sunday night. It's a 1970 Volvo with wooden seats and floors that are made to withstand the sometimes unfortunate consequences of late night drinking. It departs towards the city at 10 p.m. and returns from the city at 5:00 Sunday morning. A ticket costs 100 kr.

More prosaically Malc noted that route 101 (Tˇrshavn ľ GamlarŠtt) now appears to be a self-contained operation and no longer interworked with the 300 as previously.  An SOR vehicle registered MF221 was operating the 101 every time he saw it.

During the summer of 2019 the island of Sandoy will become the first in the country to use eco-friendly buses that run on sustainable green energy.

MF221 waits at Gamlaraett for the Sandoy ferry
(photo by Malc McDonald)
Gamlaraett ferry terminal July 2017 route 101


In their 38th year of operation the Tˇrshavn Busslei­in network continues as usual. They are considering a new network design for when the access highway around HoyvÝk for the Eysturoy Tunnel will have opened, according to the plan, in 2020. The new bridge to Argir constructed in 2014 already offers opportunities for improvements, and so does the new big monumental school being built at the western ring road for 2018 opening. Malc noted that on Busslei­in route 4 he saw Volvo B8R/8900, registered GA403, a couple of times - and that was the only vehicle he saw on the 4.

With three years of operation now accrued the Klaksvik town route 1 is a real success and much used. However routes 2 (minibus) and 3 to Nor­oyri and ┴rnafj°r­ur seem to get hardly any passengers.

The Eysturlei­in route between Sy­rag°ta and LeirvÝk is used principally by schoolchildren. The bus system in Sunda municipality is successful, according to the newspapers, with 450 users in the first four months.

The Tˇrshavn Busslei­in network was substantially revised in April 2019 - further information here.

Klaksvik Busslei­in Volvo on route 1
(photo by Malc McDonald)
Klaksvik route 1 Volvo

Strandfer­slan Celebrates 100th Birthday

In May 2017 100 years have passed since the government bought the first ship named Smiril from the Mortensen family. This was the start of Strandfer­slan - or Strandfaraskip Landsins as we know it today. Celebrations were held in Drelnes on 19th May attended by the transport minister.

Strandfaraskip Landsins (SSL) is the nationally owned transport company of the Faroes. The main objective for SSL is providing transport to all corners of the Faroe Islands.  SSL runs six ferries named Smyril, Teistin, Sam, Ritan, Sildberin and Ternan. All the ships are named after birds, and only Smyril, Teistin, Sam and Ternan are car ferries. The other three are passenger ferries.  SSL also runs various bus routes which are all privately operated by several different Faroese bus companies.
SSL 100 years

Volvo GA403 leaves Tˇrshavn on route 4
(photo by Malc McDonald)
Torshavn route 4

Klaksvik minibus operated by Askham
(photo by Malc McDonald)
Klaksvik minibus July 2017


This is a link to the Tˇrshavn Kommuna website for the current Busslei­in timetables

This is a link to the earlier 2009 update page

This is a link to Busslei­in information for the period 1992 - 2003

This is a link to Bygdalei­ir information for the period 1992 - 2003

This is a link to the SSL website for the current Bygdalei­ir timetables


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