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Marine / Cruise ship activity to pick up pace

Lerwick Harbour’s Mair’s Pier provides additional berthing capacity for mid-sized cruise ships. Photo: Calum Toogood/Lerwick Port Authority.
An archive image of cruise ship passengers in Lerwick. Photo: Calum Toogood/Lerwick Port Authority.

MORE cruise ships are due in Shetland in the coming days and weeks as the sector becomes more active.

The 91m Hebridean Sky is scheduled to arrive in Lerwick on Saturday morning for a quick visit.

It follows the arrival of Island Sky yesterday (Monday). It had a reduced capacity of 66 passengers, who went ashore in ‘bubbles’.

On Monday (26 July) the much larger 246m Marella Explorer 2 is due to arrive in Lerwick.

August looks set to be a busier month, with 12 calls in total scheduled.

They include the 238m Borealis and Bolette.

There are also cruise calls scheduled for September, and one in early October.

Monday’s arrival was the first cruise ship in Shetland and Scotland since early 2020 as coronavirus restrictions eased.

Initially cruises are only from the UK, hosting domestic passengers.

Lerwick Port Authority said the much-reduced season will see 21 visits in total from cruise ships this year.

The Norwegian training vessel Statsraad Lehmkuhl is also due to return to Lerwick later this month.

Lerwick Port Authority chief executive Captain Calum Grains said last week: “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.”