Fair Isle to host 350 from educational cruise ship

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Fair Isle’s population will quintuple next Monday when around 350 passengers from the cruise ship Spirit of Adventure go ashore to spend the day exploring the isle.

The ship, chartered by the National Trust for Scotland, will anchor at approximately 8am and remain until 5pm before setting sail for Baltasound in Unst. The Shetland visits will be the third and fourth ports of call on a 14-night cruise which also takes in Norway’s west coast.

While in Fair Isle passengers will be given the opportunity to explore by themselves, or to join a visit to a puffin colony led by rangers from the Bird Observatory. Stalls selling crafts and souvenirs will be set up at the community hall, where locals will also welcome the visitors with tea and homebakes.

Cruise director Elaine Bruges said: “Fair Isle is one of the trust’s remotest properties, with wonderful wildlife and a strong sense of community. It’s great to be able to offer so many members and friends of the trust the chance to experience setting foot on it.

“We were overwhelmed with the warm welcome we received from locals when we called at this extraordinary island two years ago. The community were so proud of the island and its culture that we were very keen to include it in our itinerary again.”

Passengers coming ashore in Unst will have the chance to explore the beach at Skaw or visit the Westing archaeology longhouse excavations before being treated to coffee, local crafts and music at Haroldswick Hall.

Onboard, guests enjoy informative talks about the history, landscape and wildlife of the places they are visiting, with this year the emphasis being placed on exploring the historical footsteps of the Vikings.

Author and award-winning Norwegian translator Kenneth Steven is travelling on the cruise, and will be sharing poetry from some of his seven published volumes as well as stories from his time spent in Arctic Norway.

After leaving Unst, the Spirit of Adventure will sail to Bødø, just inside Norway’s Arctic Circle, before venturing in to the country’s innermost port Skjolden, at the heart of the world’s second largest fjord.


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