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Marine / Lerwick harbour ‘feeling the buzz’ as Tall Ships arrival looms

The Polish ship Dar Mlodziezy at the 2011 Tall Ships in Shetland. Photo: Billy Fox

WITH just a matter of days before the Tall Ships descend on the isles, Lerwick Port Authority is making the final preparations around the harbour to host the events – whilst it is still business as usual for its many customers.

Melanie Henderson, cruise and marketing manager at Lerwick Port Authority, is also secretary for Sail Training Shetland and Shetland Tall Ships.

“All the arrangements are going really well for the four-day international event,” Henderson told Shetland News. “We’re preparing for an excellent time here at the harbour.

“The Tall Ships fleet arriving is going to be a big colourful spectacle and we’re delighted to be a Host Port for the third time.”

Whilst all the festivities are going on, it will still be business as usual for the harbour including NorthLink’s ferry services, the local fishing fleet, the offshore industry and cruise ships.

She said “We are mid-way through our busy tourist season, so there will be cruise visits during the Tall Ships.”

There will be one cruise ship in on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and three in Lerwick on the Thursday.

Calum Grains, chief executive at Lerwick Port Authority. Photo: Shetland News

Calum Grains, chief executive of the port authority, says the organisation is “really quite honoured” to be hosting the event again.

“We have the facilities to handle this size of event,” he said. “A lot of preparations have happened around the harbour to make everything ready.

“The contractors have been building the event sites and stages and from now folk will see a big change to the waterfront to get everything ready for Wednesday.”

Berthing plans have all been prepared, showing exactly where each ship needs to go – around 37 tall ships plan to be in the port.

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Grains said: “The ships will be front and centre across the event sites at Victoria Pier through to Holmsgarth.”

He says the week will be “busy, but busy in a good way”.

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time and the team at the port here has put in a huge effort and amount of work.

“You can tell now in town there is a peerie bit of buzz around the signage going up and seeing the contractors on-site.”

The Albert Building is decked out in signage for next week’s events. Photo: Shetland News

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