Lerwick Harbour’s latest facilities for cruise ships will welcome their first vessel this week when Viking Star berths at the recently-named Mair’s Pier tomorrow.
She is due to arrive from Svolvaer, northern Norway, with around 900 passengers on board and dock at the £16.5 million multi-purpose pier, completed late last year.
The outside arm of the pier is being used initially by cruise ships up to 230 metres in length. A number of Viking Cruise ships will be among vessels scheduled to berth at the pier this season.
Viking Star passengers will be the first to use a new meet-and-greet station and information point, commissioned by Lerwick Port Authority and accommodating the harbour’s welcoming team.
The mobile unit will also be used elsewhere in the port which expects 75 vessels and a 21 per cent increase in passengers to a record of almost 62,000 this season.
Senior commercial executive at Lerwick Port Authority, Victor Sandison, said: “The additional berthing and improved visitor arrival experience are part of our ongoing programme to attract and service the cruise industry which makes an important contribution to the Shetland economy.”
Almost 90 vessels are already booked for 2018, bringing around 93,000 passengers – both records.