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

First cruise ship of record season for Lerwick

Busy summer for Shetland port

Lerwick Harbour is on course for a record-breaking summer, with the arrival this week of the first cruise ship of the 2011 season. The Quest berths tomorrow (Wednesday 4 May) during a voyage around Scotland for one of three scheduled visits to the port in May, a month which will include a number of calls by small adventure cruises.

With 54 vessels scheduled by early September, six more than the current record, the growing number of large ships will also mean a new tonnage record at around 1.4 million gross tonnes. The biggest cruise vessels yet to enter the port - Crown Princess (at 113,651 gross tonnes) and then Costa Pacifica (114,500 gross tonnes) - will both call in June. There will be 15 arrivals in June, and again in July, the peak months.

The number of cruise passengers using Lerwick as the seaway to Shetland’s many attractions is expected to top last year’s highest-yet figure of almost 31,000.

Victor Sandison, Lerwick Port Authority’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “This season will again demonstrate the all-important capacity of the harbour to handle the larger cruise ships now operating and the continuing increase in the popularity of both Lerwick as a port-of-call and  Shetland’s numerous and varied visitor attractions.”

There will be an extra special visit for passengers on the Crystal Serenity which will be in port during the spectacular Parade of Sail day when vessels participating in The Tall Ships Races 2011 depart for Stavanger at the end of a four-day visit (21-24 July).