Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Cruise season closes at Lerwick with records smashed

Record-beating summer on horizon for Shetland in 2017

Lerwick Harbour has logged its best cruise season yet, with the Shetland port setting four new records in 2016 – and three expected to be broken again next year.

The season closes tomorrow, Thursday 6 October, with another visit by the Cruise & Maritime Voyages-operated Marco Polo, en route from Dublin to Torshavn, Faroe, on a 12-nights Iceland, Faroe and Northern Lights cruise.

The port’s rewritten history book will note that:

  • 50,723 cruise passengers arrived since April, superseding the 2014 record of 43,273.
  • 79 cruise ships have entered the port, beating the previous high of 52 in 2012.
  • Their cumulative tonnage at 2,192,651 gross tonnes is well-ahead of the 1,684,699 gross tonnes recorded in 2014.
  • The record for the largest cruise ship to call at Lerwick was broken twice – by P&O Cruises 115,055 gross tonne Azura and then Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette (122,210 gross tonnes) which will return in August, 2017. The record was previously held by Costa Pacifica, at 114,288 gross tonnes, set in June 2011.

The popularity of the port with operators is highlighted by the number of return calls by ships from recent years, as well as nine maiden visits this year.

Captain Calum Grains, the Port Authority’s Harbourmaster and Deputy Chief Executive, said “Despite increasing competition in national and international markets, with operators spoiled for choice, Lerwick and Shetland have had their best season, thanks to modern facilities, great teamwork, popular attractions and the warm welcome.

“There's no complacency, but it's a successful package which is already paying off again for next year, with 79 vessels currently scheduled and increased tonnage and passengers expected. There are also 34 visits already booked for 2018.”

The Port Authority’s continuing marketing programme included participation in the recent Seatrade Cruise Med exhibition as a member of the Cruise Scotland organisation, with good engagement with cruise line representatives.

Celebrity Silhouette at Lerwick Harbour where she holds the record as largest cruise ship to visit. The vessel will return in August, 2017.  Photo: Malcolm Younger.