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 records rewritten again at Lerwick

And more to come in 2019.

Another record-breaking cruise season at Lerwick Harbour closed this week with 91 vessels and an increase of around 78% on 2017 to 90,336 passengers welcomed at the Shetland port since mid-March, taking its involvement to a new high. 

The final scheduled ship of 2018, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo, was forced by poor North Sea weather to by-pass the port today (Thursday 11 October) while en route from Torshavn, Faroe, to Kirkwall, Orkney.

Tonnage for the season at Lerwick was also a new high, at 3,837,998 gross tonnes, including 11 maiden calls.  

Several new port records featured MSC Meravigliain July - biggest cruise ship yet at Lerwick (171,598 gross tonnes); most passengers (5,092) plus around 1,500 crew; and, along with Hapag Lloyd’s Europa, the busiest day at Lerwick, with almost 7,500 passengers and crew.  

Victor Sandison, Lerwick Port Authority’s Senior Commercial Executive, said: “A great team effort by everyone involved in Shetland has meant another very successful cruise season and helped ensure we are on even more itineraries in 2019. Local providers have risen to the challenge of servicing the extra demands.

“In a rapidly expanding global market, with another 90 vessels on order over the next five years, there is increasing requirement for special places to visit and the growing popularity of Shetland and its many attractions as a top destination augurs well for the future.

“There are 115 vessels, including 12 maiden calls, booked so far for 2019, up 25% on 2018, with passenger numbers approaching 92,000. Highlights will include a call by Cunard’s Queen Victoriain July."

With vessel sizes increasing, the Port Authority’s future plans include possible dredging to increase capacity alongside, and a longer-term outlook to create a new deep-water berth in the town centre to be used by cruise ships.  

On a record breaking day at Lerwick, MSC Meraviglia towers above the Town Centre, bringing over 5,000 passengers to view the isles’ attractions. Credit: Ryan Leith.