Next year will be another busy season for Shetland’s restored Fifie class herring drifter the Swan.
The Swan Trust has published its programme of cruises for the coming year, including a 30-night round-Britain cruise which will include participating in the Falmouth to Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta.
This will be the first time in 25 years that the Tall Ships have visited London and large crowds are anticipated by the organisers. As a participating vessel the Swan will be berthed close to the historic Greenwich Observatory and the National Maritime Museum.
The early part of the season in April and May will be spent in home waters with the normal mixture of day and half-day sails with school groups and local organisations.
In addition, in May and also in June there will be Shetland weekend cruises, giving people an oppor-tunity to view the isles from the sea and visit some of the less accessible places of interest.
The first week of June will be spent in Norway with a planned cruise to the small island of Utsira, of shipping forecast fame, and southern Norway.
July will have the boat back in Scandinavia, when on charter to Sail Training Shetland, 10 young-sters will have the opportunity to take part in Nordisk Sejlads, a scaled-down version of the Tall Ships Races.
The Swan will join around 25 similar-sized vessels and race from Skarhamn, Sweden to Stavern in Norway and finally to Aalborg, Denmark.
In 2012 the Swan participated in this event for the first time and it proved to be very memorable and enjoyable experience for the young people who took part.
Immediately after returning from Nordisk Sejlads, the vessel heads for the Clyde to take part in a Small Ships Race which will culminate with two days at Pacific Quay in Glasgow to allow the crew to experience some Commonwealth Games events.
The bi-annual Unst Youth Group cruise to Norway follows in early August and in the middle of the month the Swan sets sail for Falmouth, Cornwall on the first leg of an ambitious round-Britain cruise which includes opportunities for some overnight calls at ports along the route.
In Falmouth the Swan will join the assembling fleet of Tall Ships which will race and cruise to Greenwich. From Greenwich she will set sail for Shetland, with a probable call at Lowestoft, first visited by the vessel in 1900, the year she was built.
This is the first time the Swan Trust has offered such a lengthy cruise and berths are available for the complete cruise or on single legs of the voyage.