Tidal effects are minimal.
Ample anchorages in sheltered water for any size of vessel in North and South Harbour areas, subject to prior consultation with the Port Authority. Inner South Harbour anchorage depth minimum 10m within a radius of 300m. Brei Wick anchorage depth 15m – 25m. Anchorage in North and South outer Harbour areas in depths up to 50m.
Min Depth (Metres) Berth Length (Metres) Albert Wharf (North) 3.7 57 Albert Wharf (South) 2.5 - 3.7 126 Alexandra Wharf (North) 4.4 - 5.5 63 Alexandra Wharf (South) 4.2 75 Breakwater 5.3 38 Dales Voe 9.5 - 12.5 127 Fishmarket Quay 6.2 189 Freefield East (Hay & Co Buildbase) 0.5 - 5.3 66 Freefield North (Hay & Co Buildbase) 2.8 - 5.3 52 Greenhead Base 1-2 6.0 215 Greenhead Base 3 8.0 120 Greenhead Base 4-6 9.0 348 Greenhead Base 7 9.0 102 Gremista (East) 6.5 - 8.5 70 Gremista (East Inner - Landing Berth) 9.0 35 Gremista (North) 5.2 60 Gremista (South) 7.2 - 8.5 80 Gremista (West) 6.6 - 7.0 57 Heogan Middle - Fish Landing 8.0 30 Heogan South 5.0 30 Holmsgarth No. 1 5.2 170 Holmsgarth No. 2 (Ro Ro) 8.0 - 11.7 150 Holmsgarth No. 3 (Ro Ro) 7.7 - 12.5 155 Holmsgarth No. 4 (Ro Ro) 7.2 124 Holmsgarth No. 5 9.2 163 Holmsgarth No. 5 (End) 8.7 21 Laurenson Quay 4.6 87 Mair's Pier (East) 7.1 - 9.0 275 Mair's Pier (End) 6.8 30 Mair's Pier (North) 6.2 - 8.6 133 Mair's Pier (South) 5.2 - 9.0 146 Mair's Pier (West) 6.3 - 8.6 222 Malakoff Pier 3.5 12 Morrison Dock (East) 5.0 - 8.0 131 Morrison Dock (North) 3.2 - 5.0 46 Morrison Dock (West) 3.2 - 4.0 147 North Ness Jetty 4.1 21 Shearers (North) 5.7 70 Shearers West (Ice Berth) 3.0 - 6.7 52 Spur Jetty North 4.2 - 7.0 38 Spur Jetty South (Bressay Ferry) 3.7 27 Victoria Pier (East) 7.8 - 10.7 91 Victoria Pier (North) 2.5 - 7.6 122 Victoria Pier (South) 1.5 - 7.8 140 Victoria Pier (West) 7.6 - 9.0 61
- Car Park
Victoria Pier Car Park
Victoria Pier Car Park is a pay-and-display car park generally open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday.
However, the Car Park is closed on occasions when the Pier is required for port operational purposes. For example the Car Park is closed when large numbers of cruise passengers are passing through the area and occasionally for maritime events.
The tariff is displayed at the car park next to the pay-and-display ticket machines.
The charges are authorised under statute of Lerwick Harbour Order Confirmation Act 1987.
History of Victoria Pier
Victoria Pier at Lerwick is referred to as “the pier” – and with good reason as it is the original major pier in the town centre, dating from 1886.
“The pier” was the first achievement of Lerwick Harbour Trust (the former name of Lerwick Port Authority) after the Trust was formed in 1877. Prior to this, the shoreline at Lerwick comprised of a large number of private piers, none of which could accommodate the small steamer that plied between Lerwick and the South. The steamer had to anchor in the harbour and goods, passengers and livestock were unloaded by flitboat.
Lerwick Harbour Trust was formed as “a body of Harbour Trustees for the management, maintenance and regulation of the Port and Harbour of Lerwick”. With this came the empowerment to charge for use of the port. In 1877 the Trust was also authorised to construct Victoria Pier and to borrow money to do so.
For five years nothing happened as the Trust was unable to convince the banks of the viability of their scheme to pay back a loan. However, with a keen tender price from a contractor, and loan guarantees from several merchants, the funding was secured. Then, as now, a trust port operates as a self-financing business with commercial borrowings and is not publicly funded.
Work started in 1883 and the solid structure of Victoria Pier built out from the Esplanade was completed in June 1886.
The drawbacks of Lerwick’s harbour front, with an Esplanade built in the days of horse-drawn vehicles, needed to be addressed. In 1952 a new Lerwick Harbour Act captured a scheme to extend Victoria Pier by widening it to the north and building an arm. The scheme also included Albert Dock and was completed in 1958 with a royal opening by Queen Elizabeth in 1960. The cost of £285,000 was met by a commercial loan topped up with a grant that was available.
A “steamers store” was built on Victoria Pier for the goods arriving with the twice-weekly steamer service from the mainland.
After the advent of ro-ro ferries replacing the steamer in the town centre, the steamers store was demolished and the remaining flat space became popular for car parking. In order to regulate the indiscriminate parking that occurred, often with cars blocking safe access to and from vessels, it was necessary to employ car park attendants and charge for use of the car park. Victoria Pier Car Park opened in 1987.
Although regularly operated as a car park open to the public, Victoria Pier remains primarily a part of the Port Authority’s quayside estate and is subject to the controls necessary to support shipping using the harbour.
Foremost is the safety of crew and passengers from ships and also the Security regulations relevant to operating an international port. For this reason, all or part of Victoria Pier can be cordoned off from public access on occasions.
Located at the new Lerwick fishmarket with a seated auction room for buyers and an adjacent viewing gallery. Operated by Shetland Seafood Auction, it is the largest computerised “Dutch auction” system in the UK. Combined with a unique online sales system for quality farmed seafood and white fish fillets, the daily auction creates a competitive online marketplace for buyers and sellers.
Read more about the new fishmarket which was completed in 2020, doubling landing capacity at the port.
- International Ship and Port Security (ISPS)
Lerwick Harbour operates an approved Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) under the ISPS Code.
Under SOLAS, Chapter XI-2, Regulation 9, ships are required to issue information prior to arrival at port. Please download the following ISPS Pre Arrival form [PDF Document:115kb] and return the form a minimum of 24 hours prior to arrival at Port Control and the PFSO. Contact details given below.
Vessels requiring to complete a pre-arrival form without prejudice are:
Passenger ships, including high speed craft;
Cargo ships, including high speed craft, of 500 gross tonnage and upwards;
Mobile offshore drilling units;
Declaration of Security (DoS)
Lerwick Port Authority requires a Declaration of Security from all vessels prior to arrival from non SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974) countries.
If a DoS is required to be completed and returned to the Port Facility Security Officer (PSFO). Please refer to Pre-Arrival information for further details.
+44 (0) 1595 692991
VHF Channels 12 & 16
+44 (0) 7826 916906
- Laydown/Open Storage
Areas available at various port locations. See our Property Page for more information.
By Lerwick Port Authority on request.
- Fresh Water
Available at most berths by 2.5 in. diameter water hose connections, 40-50 t.p.h.
- Offshore Service Bases
Dales Voe Base
A multi-purpose service base, with a 127 metre quay at 12.5 C.D. The quay is common user and controlled by Lerwick Port Authority. A newly completed 20,000 square metre licensed quayside decommissioning pad (operated by Veolia/Peterson) is complemented by over 45,000 square metres of adjacent open storage and laydown.
A multi-purpose service base, operated by Peterson UK Ltd, has seven berths up to 9m C.D. across 780 metres of quays. All quays are common user and controlled by Lerwick Port Authority. The base also hosts a 20,000 square metre licensed quayside decommissioning pad (operated by Veolia/Peterson), fabrication facilities, engineering works, offices and warehousing, lifting and distribution, plus open storage and laydown.
See also Services - Decommissioning
- Shore Power
There are a range of shore power connections available throughout the harbour to meet the various demands of vessels.
Available in the 240 volt, single phase range are 16 amp, 32 amp and 63 amp connections.
Available in the 415 volt, three phase range are 63 amp, 125 amp, 200 amp and 250 amp connections.
Please contact Port Control for further shore power information.
Covered rubbish skips and litter bins provided as per the Port Waste Management Plan. Recycling facilities for glass bottles and aluminium drink cans are located on Victoria Pier. Hazardous/Special waste facilities are available through Shipping Agents. Private contractors are also available:
Port Waste Reception
Lerwick Port Authority's Port Waste Management Plan is fully approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). This ensures that all ship generated waste and cargo residue is controlled at all piers and quays. The waste management plan details the location of all waste reception facilities at the Authority’s piers and harbours. It also contains a list of the contractors used for waste disposal.
The plan ensures that LPA complies with the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003 and other relevant legislation and guidelines, including, Marine Guidance Note (MGN) 253 and A Guide to Good Practice – Port Waste Management Planning, issued by the MCA. It is intended for use by all vessels, which use those berths operated by the Authority, Shipping Agents and relevant businesses that use the facilities of the port. The overall aim of the Plan is to assist in the reduction of the quantity of all types of wastes entering the sea.
All vessels landing waste at Lerwick Harbour (other than those with approved exemptions from the MCA) must give prior notification.
- where Lerwick is known to be the next port of call at 24 hours before arrival; or
- as soon as possible after the Port of Lerwick as a destination is known;
- where the duration of the voyage is less than 24 hours, at latest on departure from the previous port.
The ship may use their own notification form providing the information on that form meets the statutory requirements and submit it by fax or email. A copy of the notice referred to shall be retained on board the ship until at least the next port of call in accordance with the MCA guidance in Marine Guidance Note MGN 253 (M + F).
International Catering Waste (ICW)
International catering waste is subject to strict controls on how it should be handled and disposed of.
Disposal of International Catering Waste (ICW) by visiting yachts - Yacht Crews arriving from countries outside the *European Union are requested to contact Port Control to arrange appropriate disposal of food waste and its packaging. ICW must not be placed in the green domestic skips provided. *The following countries, in addition to EU countries do not produce ICW - Iceland, Andorra, Norway, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar.
Disposal of International Catering Waste (ICW) by all other visiting Vessels - Where vessels land ICW, it should be clearly marked with the vessel’s name/ICW. Lerwick Port Authority and/or Ships Agent should be advised that such waste has been landed by best means available i.e. Channel 12 VHF to Port Control or through Agents communications. Ships Agents shall supply Lerwick Port Authority with relevant data on ICW landed at Lerwick Harbour.
Vessels can apply from exemptions from some of the requirements of the Port Waste Management Reception Regulations. Ships so entitled should apply to the Maritime Coastguard Agency in accordance with MCA Guidance Note MGN 259 (M+F), who shall then advise the Lerwick Port Authority if a vessel operating in their jurisdiction has received such exemption.
Public Weighbridge operated by Lerwick Port Authority, located at Holmsgarth, Lerwick.