Big cruise ship diverts to Lerwick because of strike action in Norway

Strike action in Norway has brought a surprise boost to the isles with a large cruise ship anchoring off Lerwick instead of a Norwegian port.

The Italian-registered, 252-metre AIDAluna berthed at Lerwick Harbour at 8am this morning with 2,300 mainly German passengers on board.

Her operator, Aida Cruises, is one of a number of cruise lines considering contingency plans for ships unable to call at their intended Norwegian ports as a result of industrial strife in the public sector, which is currently affecting shipping.

It’s thought other cruise ships which are due to call at ports in Norway might consider Lerwick as an alternative port of call should the strike action continue.

Speaking ahead of its visit, Lerwick Port Authority’s deputy chief executive, Victor Sandison, said: “We are pleased to have been able to accommodate AIDAluna at such short notice on her maiden visit to Lerwick in an already busy season.

“Our meet and greet team will be on-hand to provide their warm and friendly Shetland welcome with passengers set to visit a number or the islands popular visitor attractions.”

Registered in Genoa, the AIDAluna is a 69,203 gross tonnage ship. Owned by US-based Carnival Corp, she arrived from Olden at the top of the Nordfjord in Norway.  She is due to sail for Hamburg at 4pm.

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