WATCH: Norwegian warship arrives in Lerwick
A towering Norwegian warship has arrived in Lerwick today, ahead of a string of events highlighting Norway’s connections with Shetland.
The 133-metre, 5-300 tonne HNoMs Thor Heyerdahl is berthed in Holmsgarth, with a crew of about 120.
An official guest reception is being held aboard the vessel tonight, with about 90 people expected.
Tomorrow the ship will be open to the public from 11am to 2.30pm.
There will also be a parade and wreath laying service at the Shetland Bus memorial in Scalloway, followed by a visit to the Scalloway Museum. This will be between 11.30am and 2pm.
On Sunday, between 11.30am and 12,30pm there will be a wreath laying ceremony at Lerwick cemetery in honour of Norwegian servicemen.
Commanding officer Daniel Thomassen said it was his third visit to Shetland, and it was an honour and privilege for he and his crew to visit the isles.
He was also keen for those onboard to learn more about the links between Shetland and Norway, with lectures being given to crew by a member of the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, explaining the Shetland Bus and other strong ties.
With more than 400 rooms the ship can be a maze for new recruits. Some have only been part of the crew for a few months. Though many take on different roles while on board and during training.
“I think maintaining these strong bonds are important,” Commander Thomassen said.
“The Norwegian Navy comes here on a regular a basis for some anniversaries and I think our Queen was here in 2007 and our prime minister in 2012.
“I think it is important we keep up the tradition of visiting to maintain these strong bonds.”
• More in next week’s Shetland Times.