Bookings up for coming year. Lerwick Harbour’s role as a leading Scottish port-of-call for cruise ships has been reinforced by another successful season and the bookings taken already for next year.
The Clipper Adventurer will become the 43rd and final cruise vessel of 2006 when she berths at Victoria Pier on Tuesday 12 September for the third time this year.
This week sees two arrivals – Sea Princess on Tuesday (5 September) and Mona Lisa on Thursday (7 September).
The final number is down on the 47 originally booked, because of vessels’ schedules being altered due to illness on board, and one below the record 48 in 2003 and 2005
However, the trend towards larger cruise ships boosted passenger numbers, and with this month’s three vessels bringing around 2,500 passengers, the final figure is expected to be approximately 25,470, compared with 17,532 in 2005.
The trend has also seen 14 vessels anchor, rather than berth, with passengers being transferred to-and-from a new £150,000 floating landing stage, installed earlier this year.
Allan Wishart, Chief Executive of Lerwick Port Authority, said: “The significant increase in passengers this year and the excellent start to the planning for 2007 is good news for Shetland.
“The new landing stage has been of major benefit in improving the safe and efficient transfer of passengers, and will help encourage the use of the port by large vessels in the future.
“We continue to actively market the port’s facilities and Shetland’s many attractions, both directly and through initiatives such as the Cruise Europe organisation.”
There are 33 vessels booked so far to call at Lerwick next season, three more than at the same time last year and six up on the same stage in 2004. The schedule includes a maiden call to the port by AIDA Cruises AIDAvita, which will visit twice in August.