Lerwick – the port with a place in the history of cruising!Britain’s “Top Port” of Lerwick, lying at 60° north, is expecting up to a 50% rise in the number of cruise passengers arriving this summer to enjoy the many attractions of the scenic Shetland Islands.

With the average size of the 45 ships already booked larger than last year’s visiting vessels, Lerwick Port Authority is predicting around 26,000 passengers coming ashore at the deep-water port.

The trend for bigger ships to call at Lerwick has led the Authority to expand facilities, with a new floating landing stage to be installed by early May for use by passengers transferred from-and-to vessels at anchor in the sheltered harbour.

Allan Wishart, the Port Authority’s Chief Executive, said: “We are responding to the demand created by the popularity of Lerwick as a port-of-call for the larger cruise ships which have to anchor, rather than berth.

“The project brings a number of important benefits, including the capacity to berth up to three tenders at the same time, which will speed-up disembarking and embarking. We will also be able to better segregate arriving and departing passengers, which will bring improvements in safety.”

Smaller cruise ships visiting Lerwick berth at Victoria Pier, right in the town centre, and at Holmsgarth.

Passengers with a sense of history take special delight in visiting Lerwick, the birthplace in 1792 of Arthur Anderson, co-founder of P&O and a pioneer of sea travel for pleasure – the forerunner of the cruise industry. An exhibition in his first home, at Bod of Gremista, is open to visitors in the summer months.

At the crossroads of the North Sea and the Atlantic, it is a natural port-of-call for cruise ships in northern European waters and provides a gateway to 5,000 years of history, a fascinating heritage both Scandinavian and Scottish, and today’s cosmopolitan culture. With over 100 islands, crowded seabird colonies, porpoises and dolphins are found around a coastline of sandy beaches and towering cliffs.

Representatives of Lerwick Port Authority are attending the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention as partners on the Cruise UK stand.

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