Radar: Shetland’s Lerwick closes for the season – with high hopes for 2018

Despite the inclement weather conditions of 2017, cancelling 10% of Lerwick’s planned cruise calls, this busy Northern Scottish port has enjoyed a bumper year.

On Wednesday 27th September, Norwegian Jade (sister ship to the Norwegian Jewel pictured above) made the final call for the season, as part of her transatlantic voyage to New York via Iceland. As the 70th cruise ship to call at Lerwick since April, annual passenger numbers totalled 50,768 with a cruise ship tonnage of   2,146,061 gross tonnes, just short of last year’s record.

To combat the risk of bad weather affecting cruise line itineraries in future, the Lerwick Port Authority plan to deepen the approach channel and berth at Mair’s Pier to accommodate a number of vessels which currently need to anchor and transfer passengers by tender. This work is planned for 2018.

Next season is shaping up to break all records with an estimated 3,863,922 gross tonnes of cruise ships expected, including 11 maiden calls, among them the record-breaking 316-metre-long, 167,600 gross tonne MSC Meraviglia, in July with 5,300 passengers and 2,000 crew. Other highlights will include 14 planned calls by Viking Ocean Cruises’ vessels, Viking Sun, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Star throughout the season.


Photo copyright: John Coutts Photographer courtesy of Lerwick Port Authority

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