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Marine / Viking Venus arrives in Lerwick to kick off cruise ship season

Photo: Melanie Henderson.

THE 2022 cruise season got underway properly this morning (Wednesday) with the arrival of the Viking Venus in Lerwick on her maiden call to the isles.

Last week the Norwegian ship Gann docked in town, but it was on a sail training charter carrying marine cadets. She is set to return later in the year with cruise passengers.

The 229m Viking Venus arrived earlier today from Invergordon, and she is due to depart Lerwick for Bergen at tea time.

On board are 709 passengers, mainly from the USA and UK, with others from Canada, the Americas and Europe. Berthed at Victoria Pier, they are on a 15-day British Isles Explorer voyage from Tilbury, England, to Bergen, Norway.

She is scheduled to return to Lerwick on Sunday (10 April).

This year is expected to be a record cruise season for Lerwick as the sector recovers from the Covid pandemic.

Lerwick Port Authority cruise and marketing manager Melanie Henderson said: “It’s exciting to finally have the new cruise season underway with the potential of a record 120-plus vessels and all that means for the Shetland economy and the recovery from the Covid-19 impact in the past two years.

“Reassuringly, the numbers, including perhaps almost 100,000 passengers, point to the growing popularity of Lerwick and Shetland as a destination, with a mix of return visits, maiden calls and first-time operators, including Ambassador Cruise Line and Swan Hellenic.”

There will be three further cruise visits this month, with Aidasol planned for 11 April, the smaller Spitsbergen lined up for 12 April and Balmoral due to dock on 20 April.

Meanwhile Lerwick Port Authority will be represented at the Seatrade Cruise Global exhibition in Miami, Florida, from 26-28 April as a participant on the Cruise Scotland stand.

Photo: Jim Mullay