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

Record cruise ship season in prospect for Lerwick next year

2013 programme ends on a positive note.

A record number of cruise ships are already booked to visit Lerwick Harbour in 2014, with vessels also lined-up to call at the Shetland port the following year.

The positive outlook is revealed by Lerwick Port Authority in the week when the 2013 season ends and the Authority, as a member of Cruise Scotland, is attending an industry exhibition in Germany.

This year’s final calls are by Fram today (Sunday 22 September), en route from Torshavn, Faroe, to Stornoway, Scotland, and  a maiden visit by Norwegian Star tomorrow, arriving from Alesund, Norway, before sailing to Torshavn. They will bring the season totals to 39 vessels and approximately 26,000 passengers.

Ships calling this season included a fourth visit by Costa Pacifica, at 114,288 gross tonnes the largest yet to call and due to return again in June 2014.

Lerwick Port Authority Deputy Chief Executive, Victor Sandison, said: ”We are confident that this season’s reduced activity was due to a one-off combination of various operational reasons, outwith our control or influence, leading to cancellations.”

Factors affecting a number of operators included one going out of business, ship deployment and operational reasons, including bad weather.

He added: ”The 12 maiden calls this year were an encouraging sign, and the record  level of advance bookings for 2014, plus those for 2015, is very positive and highlights the popularity of Shetland’s many attractions.”

There are currently 55 ships, including seven maiden calls, booked for next year, bringing an estimated 47,000 passengers, passing the 2012 records of 52 ships and 37,572 passengers. There are also 13 vessels already booked for 2015.

As part of its ongoing marketing programme, the Port Authority will be participating on the Cruise Scotland stand (No.411) at the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention in Hamburg from 24 to 26 September.

"Costa Pacifica" during an earlier call to Lerwick