Shetland enjoys record cruise year with 90,000 passengers
Shetland has had a record-breaking year for cruise liner visitors.
More than 90,000 passengers arrived in 2018, a 78% increase.
This was despite the final scheduled arrival of the year, Marco Polo, being forced by poor North Sea weather to bypass the port on Thursday while en route from Faroe to Orkney.
Another record was the visit of Meraviglia in July, the biggest cruise ship yet at Lerwick with 5,092 passengers and about 1,500 crew.
Next year is already set to be even more successful.
Victor Sandison, Lerwick Port Authority’s senior commercial executive, said: “A great team effort by everyone involved in Shetland has meant another very successful cruise season and helped ensure we are on even more itineraries in 2019.
“Local providers have risen to the challenge of servicing the extra demands.
“In a rapidly expanding global market, with another 90 vessels on order over the next five years, there is increasing requirement for special places to visit and the growing popularity of Shetland and its many attractions as a top destination augurs well for the future.
“There are 115 vessels, including 12 maiden calls, booked so far for 2019, up 25% on 2018, with passenger numbers approaching 92,000. Highlights will include a call by Cunard’s Queen Victoria in July.”