THE ARRIVAL of the cruise ship Magellan in Lerwick Harbour this week will launch a record-breaking visiting season expected to see passenger numbers almost double.
Lerwick Port Authority said it expected approaching 92,000 passengers, a rise of some 81 per cent on last year’s record of 50,768.
In all 91 cruise ships are expected in the next eight months, with the most passengers yet on a single vessel when MSC Maraviglia visits at 4,500, plus over 1,500 crew. She will also be the largest cruise ship yet at 171,598 gross tonnes.
The overall tonnage of cruise ships is set to rise by 83 per cent to some 3.9 million gross tonnes.
LPA senior commercial executive Victor Sandison said: “The scale of cruise activity this year will make it a great season for Lerwick and Shetland, including an expanded excursion programme in recognition of the higher passenger numbers.”
CMV’s Magallan is due to arrive tomorrow (Tuesday) from Reykjavik, Iceland, as part of a 12-night “land of the Northern Lights” cruise that began in London and will head to Kirkwall.
The final call of the year will be CMV’s Marco Polo on Thursday 11 October, arriving from Torshavn, Faroe, on a nine-night “Scottish highlights and Faroe” cruise.
July and August will be the busiest months, with 26 and 22 calls respectively, in a season that will see 11 maiden visits.
In response to the increasing number of passengers, local shore excursion specialists Island Vista has added new experiences to its programmes, including a “sound of Shetland” excursion treating visitors to a showcase of Shetland’s fantastic musical heritage in Mareel’s waterfront auditorium.
Sandison added: “The outlook continues to be positive. We are currently anticipating over 107,000 passengers in 2019, with 109 ships already booked and more anticipated. Our hopes for futher ahead have been encouraged by this month’s participation at Seatrade Cruise Global Expo as a member of Cruise Scotland.”
The 4.6 milllion gross tonnes of shipping lined up for 2019 include 13 vessels on maiden voyages.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 380 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News