Shetland set for record cruise ship year

Lerwick Harbour in Shetland is set for a record year of cruise liner visitors.

Over the next eight months, the Shetland port said it is scheduled to welcome:

  • Approaching 92,000 passengers, up 81% on last year’s record 50,768
  • Most passengers yet on a single vessel – 4,500 on MSC Meraviglia, plus 1,500 crew
  • 91 cruise ships
  • The largest cruise ship yet – MSC Meraviglia at 171,598 gross tonnes
  • The biggest tonnage of cruise ships in a season – 3,932,639 gross tonnes, up 83% on 2017.

Victor Sandison, Lerwick Port Authority’s senior commercial executive, said: “The scale of cruise activity this year will make it a great season for Lerwick and Shetland, including an expanded excursion programme in recognition of the higher passenger numbers.”

CMV ‘s Magellan is due in Shetland on Tuesday March 13 from Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of a 12-nights “Land of the Northern Lights Cruise” which started in London and heads next for Kirkwall, Orkney.

The final call will be CMV’s Marco Polo on Thursday 11 October, arriving from Torshavn, Faroe, on a 9-nights “Scottish Highlights and Faroe Cruise”, with Kirkwall the next port-of-call.

July and August will be the busiest months, with 26 and 22 calls respectively, in a season which will see 11 maiden calls.

Sandison added: “The outlook continues to be positive.

“We are currently anticipating over 107,000 passengers in 2019, with 109 ships already booked and more anticipated.

“Our hopes for further ahead have been encouraged by this month’s participation at Seatrade Cruise Global Expo as a member of Cruise Scotland.”