BUSIEST CRUISE SEASON YET OPENS AT LERWICK
Meet-and-Greet team returns with Shetland welcome
The first of almost 150 cruise ships expected to visit Lerwick this season arrived in the Shetland port today (Thursday 13 April 2023), with passengers being greeted on the quayside by an all-new meet-and-greet team.
The 229 metre, 47,842 gross tonne Viking Venus, with capacity for around 930 passengers, berthed at Mair’s Pier for a full day visit.
Melanie Henderson, Lerwick Port Authority Cruise & Marketing Manager, said: “Having a meet-and-greet team back on duty to welcome passengers, and the sheer number of bookings, show how far we have come since the Covid pandemic. The team has a huge input on passenger satisfaction and encouraging repeat business from cruise lines.
“It means that the islands’ tourism network can look forward to its busiest cruise season yet, coinciding with another visit by the fleet of The Tall Ships Races, making for a great season. With strong bookings right through to 2026, the sector will continue to make a significant contribution to Shetland’s economy.”
Viking Venus is on a 14-day voyage from London Tilbury to Bergen, Norway, the next port of call and will return on Monday 17 April for the reverse voyage and several more times this year. Viking Ocean Cruises’ is the port’s foremost cruise customer this season, with a total of 19 bookings, including visits from Viking Jupiter, Viking Mars and a maiden call of Viking Neptune on 21 May.
A record 147 cruise ships are scheduled, with 21 maiden calls and repeat visits a feature, and there are lots of interesting ships to look forward to. It will mean the number of anticipated passengers expected is over 100,000, and the volume of shipping at around 6.2 million gross tonnes, reaching new highs.
Six cruise ships will call during the visit by 38 sailing vessels in the Tall Ships Races (26-29 July), with three ships on one of the days, adding to the spectacle and atmosphere for visitors.
The Port Authority cruise visit list can be viewed at https://www.lerwick-harbour.co.uk/sectors/cruise/2023