Shetland Islands attracting larger cruise vessels
Another record year in prospect for Lerwick Harbour
With a record-breaking 54 cruise ships scheduled to arrive at Lerwick Harbour between May and September, its increasing popularity as a port-of-call will make another significant contribution to Shetland’s tourism industry.
The continuing growth in the number of large vessels visiting is expected to set a new record at over 1.4 million gross tonnes of shipping – mostly accounted for by 23 vessels - and sustaining passenger figures at over the 30,000 record set last year.
In June – the busiest month, with 16 calls – the record books will be rewritten by the biggest cruise ships yet to enter the port - Crown Princess (at 113,651 gross tonnes) and then Costa Pacifica (114,500 gross tonnes).
This season will also see six maiden calls, including Oceania Cruises’ new build Marina, P&O Cruises’ Arcadia and Kristina Cruises’ new flagship, Kristina Katarina.
Passengers from larger vessels at anchor will arrive by tender at a new welcome ashore pavilion, opened in late season last year as part of the ongoing development of facilities.
Victor Sandison, Deputy Chief Executive of Lerwick Port Authority, said: “A recent study for Cruise Scotland highlighted the tremendous potential to further develop the country’s cruise market. Shetland’s many attractions and Lerwick’s modern facilities make us a prime destination, with a major contribution to make, as will be demonstrated again this year.”
It is estimated that passenger spending alone in Shetland during 2011 will exceed £1 million.
The Port Authority is continuing to actively market the harbour and the islands, including exhibiting again at Cruise Shipping Miami on the Cruise Scotland booth (723) from 14-17 March and a presence at Seatrade Europe in Hamburg, from 27-29 September.
Lying between the North Sea and Atlantic, Lerwick, at 60 degrees north, is on the itinerary for round-Britain and northern European cruises, with the appeal of Shetland including its Scottish and Scandinavian heritage, marine life and seabird colonies, locally produced food and crafts, and spectacular scenery.