As a gateway for around 100 cruise ships in a season, Lerwick Harbour makes a major contribution to Shetland's important tourism industry.
Lerwick has long been a port-of-call for cruise ships which have arrived in record numbers in recent years. With around 105 ships and 90,000 passengers expected in a season, Lerwick is one of Scotland's top cruise destinations, ideally located midway between Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Norway and the Scottish mainland and Europe.
Cruise ships up to 230 metres in length berth alongside at either Mair's Pier or Holmsgarth 5 (conditions dependent), while larger ships anchor with passengers just a few minutes away by tender from a modern landing stage and welcome ashore pavilion located in the heart of Lerwick's town centre. The small 1.7 metre tidal range facilitates ease of transfer.
Smaller ships can berth at Victoria Pier providing passengers with a step ashore to Lerwick's Town Centre. The main shopping areas in Lerwick are close to hand and provide relaxing and pleasant shopping excursions for cruise passengers and crews. Lerwick is a very picturesque town to explore on foot with interesting circular walking routes.
Shetland's Cruise Website is a useful tool for passengers planning activities, trips and tours, during their visit.
Local flavour is provided by a warm and personal onboard and onshore 'Meet and Greet' welcome service to cruise passengers and crew, complemented by traditional Shetland music on the quayside. A free shuttle bus service connects cruise ships berthed at Holmsgarth or Mair's Pier which with the town centre.
The islands’ many attractions for visitors include the fantastic five-star Shetland Museum and Archives and the multi-purpose entertainment venue Mareel, both located at a restored historic dock on the Lerwick waterfront.
Welcome from the Sea
If you are a visitor arriving by sea to Lerwick Harbour, please browse our welcome leaflets below:
Pier arrangements during cruise calls
Cruise ships berthed or at anchor require exclusive use of pier areas to ensure their passengers can safely disembark to explore the isles. During busy cruise days, pier areas will either partially or fully closed to the public to control vehicle and coach movements for the ship’s own pre-arranged shore excursions. There are a number of allocated spaces for independent tour providers to collect passengers on a first-come-first-served basis.