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

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.

Crystal Serenity will be in Lerwick 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).

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.