THE LAST cruise liner to visit Lerwick harbour this summer is also the largest the Shetland port has ever welcomed.
The 108,806 gross tonne Grand Princess is due to arrive at 7am on Tuesday when she will anchor in Breiwick Bay. The largest to date had been the Costa Magica (102,587 gross tonnes) which called twice in 2009.
Her visit brings to an end a record breaking cruise liner season with around 30,000 passengers arriving on 48 ships.
Lerwick Port Authority said that for the first time ever the overall tonnage of cruise liners had broken through the one million tonne mark.
With around 2,200 passengers on board, Grand Princess, one of eight on maiden calls to the port this year will be en route from Bergen, Norway, to Torshavn, Faroe, on a trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise.
Lerwick Port Authority’s deputy chief executive Victor Sandison said: “It’s been another milestone cruise season, and not just for the hat-trick of new records reflecting increased activity and the valuable contribution to the Shetland economy.
“We have also continued to develop our visitor facilities and the trend to larger vessels continues to be seen in the already high level of bookings for 2011.”
There are already 44 cruise ships – a total of 1,477,493 gross tonnes – booked for 2011, including two more record breakers, the Crown Princess (113,651 gross tonnes) due on 7 June and Costa Pacifica (114,500 gross tonnes), scheduled for 11 June.
Both will be on maiden visits, as will another five of the vessels currently lined up.
And a visit by Crystal Serenity to Lerwick will coincide with the spectacular Parade of Sail day when participating vessels in the Tall Ships Races depart for Stavanger on 24 July 2011.
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