THIS SUMMER’S record breaking cruise liner season is expected to generate £1.3 million for the Shetland economy, according to figures releases by Lerwick Port Authority.
Currently 59 cruise ships with an estimated 36,500 passengers on board are booked to visit the islands’ principal port from mid-April to late-September.
The busiest day of the year is likely to be the 29 July when four vessels are due in Lerwick harbour.
The port’s deputy chief executive Victor Sandison said: “Shetland is winning its share in a growth industry and the momentum is being maintained, bringing a potentially significant increase this year.”
The port authority is continuing its support for a Meet & Greet project with locals providing both an onboard and onshore welcome for passengers and crew.
This service also provides a free shuttle bus service to-and-from the town centre for ships berthed at the port’s Holmsgarth facility.
Mr Sandison said: “As well as promising nine more cruise ships and around 6,000 more passengers than last year, the season is an exciting mix of return visits and maiden calls, and it is great to see Royal Caribbean including Lerwick in its itineraries again.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Jewel of the Seas (90,090 gross tonnes) will visit on 25 June, while the Brilliance of the Seas (also 90,090 gross tonnes) is due on 10 September.
Smyril Line’s ferry Norröna – previously a regular caller at Lerwick – will return for a cruise call on 9 May.