Lerwick Ready for Record-Breaking Cruise Year

“Being a small island community, our biggest challenge is ensuring dispersal of cruise ships across the season to maximize local resources,” said Melanie Henderson, cruise and marketing manager for Lerwick Port Authority. “The port has supplemented local coach resources to provide much needed shore excursion capacity for existing customers.”

That will be needed for this season, as Lerwick is expecting a record-breaking year with numbers up 18 percent on 2018, amounting to 108 ships and 83,000 guests.

The season includes 12 first-time calls, five of which are newbuilds. There are also a number of calls scheduled by brands that have never called in to Lerwick before, Henderson said.

“Ongoing engagement with local stakeholders has helped maximize available opportunities and experiences for visiting cruise ships, resulting in a number of new product offerings including ‘meet the maker’ sessions with local food and arts and crafts producers, garden explorations, and tours of film locations seen in the ‘Shetland’ crime series,” Henderson said.

Lerwick offers ships a strategic location at the crossroads of the Atlantic and North Sea, and fits well in a Round Britain, Transatlantic, or Northern European itinerary. Three berths are available for cruise ships, with a size restriction seeing ships up to 245 meters in length able to berth. Larger vessels can anchor in the deep-water harbor.

“The Port Authority’s medium-term vision for developing cruise traffic includes dredging to increase vessel berthing capacity, and a longer-term proposal to create a new deep-water berth in the town center for cruise ships,” said Henderson

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