SIC - Orkney & Shetland valuation joint board

‘Successful package’

The Marco Polo is the last cruise liner to visit this year - Photo: Chris Cope/ShetNews

LERWICK Harbour caps off a record-breaking cruise liner season with the visit of the Marco Polo today (Thursday).

A total of four records have been broken this summer, with an all-time high of 50,500 passengers on board a total of 79 cruise liners visiting Lerwick.

The ships had a record cumulative weight of almost 2.2 million gross tonnes, and among them was the Celebrity Silhouette, which at 122,210 gross tonnes was the largest cruise liner to ever visit Shetland.

Lerwick Port Authority harbour master Calum Grains said three records are set to be broken next year, while bookings are already in place for 2018.

“Despite increasing competition in national and international markets, with operators spoiled for choice, Lerwick and Shetland have had their best season, thanks to modern facilities, great teamwork, popular attractions and the warm welcome,” he said.

“There’s no complacency, but it’s a successful package which is already paying off again for next year, with 79 vessels currently scheduled and increased tonnage and passengers expected.

“There are also 34 visits already booked for 2018.”