Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Marine / More summer cruise calls lined up for Lerwick

The number of cruise visits to Lerwick had been increasing until the pandemic struck. Photo: John Coutts

ANOTHER company has begun selling cruise holidays with stop-offs in Lerwick this summer.

Saga has lined up day visits at Lerwick on 29 June, 7 July and 29 July.

All guests on board need to have had their second dose of the Covid vaccine at least 14 days before travelling.

It comes after Fred Olsen recently confirmed stop-offs in Lerwick as part of its summer schedule of British cruises.

The cruise season last year was effectively wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, halting strong progress in the sector locally.

As previously reported by Shetland News, if cruise visits do go ahead this year then it will be in a “highly regulated” fashion, according to tourism industry leaders.

Lerwick Port Authority’s cruise manager Melanie Henderson reiterated that the organisation would be guided by public health guidelines and parameters set by the government, and she was encouraged by the level of demand for vessels to make stops in Shetland whenever travel is able to resume.

“There is appetite for cruise ships to return – Shetland has a really good reputation built up over years of successful cruise calls and we’re working to ensure that when travel does open up again we can do that as safely as possible,” she said.

Saga Cruises CEO Nigel Blanks said: “We know how much our guests want to get travelling again so we are delighted to be launching our all-inclusive, round-Britain Summer cruise itineraries taking in destinations from the Orkney Islands to the Norwegian Fjords.

“We are asking all our guests to have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine prior to joining our cruises and, as they rightly expect, all necessary precautions and the highest standards of cleanliness will be observed on board.”

Saga said there will be mandatory pre-departure Covid-19 testing at home and in the terminal for guests and crew, along with temperature checks and a full medical screening.

For the company’s summer cruises the capacity of ships have been reduced by a fifth to a maximum of 800 guests per vessel.