• Home
  • News
May 20th 2024

The largest cruise ship yet to visit Lerwick Harbour entered the Shetland port today (Monday 20 May) on a maiden visit, breaking a near six-year record.

At 181,541 gross tonnes, the Maltese-flag MSC Virtuosa is 332 metres long, with 18 decks and accommodation for up to 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew. She was built in France in 2020 at a cost of 800 million Euros.

There are 60 nationalities on board on a 7-day Norwegian Fjords voyage.

The vessel is anchored in the deep-water harbour, with passengers transferring by tender to-and-from Victoria Pier in the town centre.

Virtuosa arrived from Southampton before heading for Nordfjordeid. in Western Norway. Guests have been treated to a warm Viking welcome ashore from members of the Lerwick Jarl Squad.

Melanie Henderson, Lerwick Port Authority Cruise & Marketing Manager, said: “The majority of cruise ships visiting Lerwick are small- to medium-sized vessels. Virtuosa’s maiden call is another example of Shetland’s popularity as a tourist destination, and the port’s capacity to welcome the larger vessels is also operating.

The largest previous cruise vessel to call at Lerwick was Virtuosa's sister ship, MSC Meraviglia (171,598 gross tonnes) in July 2018.

Virtuosa’s visit is a highlight of a year also expected to set records for tonnage and number of vessels and passengers, The cruise ship Hebridean Sky is also in port today, berthed at Victoria Pier East.