UK’s Lerwick Harbour is providing additional facilities for the cruise industry which is expected to deliver another two record seasons at the Shetland port, continuing a trend which saw record traffic in 2015 and 2016.
The new GBP 16.5 million (USD 20.7 million) multi-purpose jetty at Holmsgarth North, completed in late 2016, is set to be used by a cruise ship for the first time on June 12 when Viking Ocean Cruises’ ship Viking Star berths, according to Lerwick Port Authority.
The outside arm of the jetty will be used initially for vessels up to 230 meters in length.
“Holmsgarth North is significant addition to our capacity to welcome cruise ships alongside at a time when the port is attracting more passengers,” Victor Sandison, Lerwick Port Authority’s Senior Commercial Executive, said.
The port is currently expecting almost 62,000 passengers this season, up 22% on 2016, with an increase of 18.2% in the gross tonnage of shipping to 2.6 million – both new records. The number of ships due is expected to be 76, three fewer than last year. July and August are expected to be the busiest months, with 22 and 21 calls respectively.
The season will commence on April 14 with a visit of AIDA Cruises’ vessel, AIDAVita, on a 13-day cruise.
The last call is due on September 27 by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jade on a transatlantic 11-day cruise.
There will be maiden calls by nine vessels, including Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ new flagship, Columbus, on July 9.
Three new records are expected in 2018, with 90 ships currently booked, 4.1 million gross tonnage of shipping, and an estimated number of almost 96,000 passengers, with the increase influenced by more bookings by larger capacity vessels, the port authority said.