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Marine / Lerwick welcomes first cruise ship since early 2020

The Island Sky arriving at the Bressay light earlier this morning. Photo: Jim Mullay

THE FIRST cruise ship to arrive in Shetland since early last year has docked in Lerwick.

The Island Sky is a somewhat more modest affair than some of the large liners often seen in Shetland, and its passenger capacity has been halved to 66.

Lerwick Port Authority said last week that passengers coming ashore at Lerwick are likely to travel in “bubbles” of up to 15 and observe all precautions.

Chief executive Captain Calum Grains said: “We’ve been working through the many steps required with all interested parties to ensure that Covid measures are in place to protect everyone involved during cruise ship visits.

“These measures meet official requirements and complement the comprehensive steps taken by cruise operators which set some of the highest standards seen in the tourism industry.”

Head of fleet operations for boat operator Noble Caledonia Mike Deegan said “our strict Covid-safe protocols, both on board and ashore, will ensure we shall visit with safety of local communities and those on-board paramount”.

All passengers on the ship are double vaccinated.

The visit of Island Sky comes after a relaxation of restrictions about cruise ships in Scotland, although it is only domestic sailings with UK passengers for the time being.

She arrived in Shetland waters yesterday (Sunday) and took in the surroundings of Noss and Bressay before coming into Lerwick this morning.

The Island Sky is also said to be the first cruise ship to visit Scotland in 17 months.

An aerial shot of the Island Sky arrving at Lerwick harbour on Monday morning. Photo: John Waters