|From:||Cromarty (Black Isle)|
A ferry service has operated across the mouth of the Cromarty Firth from Cromarty to Nigg for centuries, but in late 2014 it ceased, perhaps for the last time. After a hiatus a few years earlier, the route reopened with a new ferry for the summer months, but with problems affecting the Cromarty harbour pier, the service was abandoned for 2015. The Highland Council have issued a tender for a passenger only service for Summer 2016, but it is not yet known if the service will operate.
Latterly operated by a new 4-car vessel, the Cromarty Queen replaced the smaller Cromarty Rose in 2011. Previously this small 2-car ferry crossed the narrow mouth of the Cromarty Firth from Cromarty to Nigg. In the past, before the A9 was re-routed across the Cromarty Bridge, the road at Nigg was numbered the B9163 as a continuation of the route across the Black Isle. However, with the ferry now being much less important, the northern part of the road was given a different number.
The ferry has a turntable on board, which allows cars to drive on and off forwards, with the turntable operating during the crossing. This however takes skillful parking, with the crossing operator ensuring that the cars are in exactly the right spot, for obvious reasons!
Drive in Movies
In 2009, the Nigg Ferry participated in an unusual feature of a local film festival, when a screen and projector were set up on board. The two cars were loaded, and the ferry 'set adrift' in the Cromarty Firth until the film finished! It is believed that this was the smallest capacity drive-in movie ever staged!