The operator of the cruise ship Magellan, which called into Lerwick on Friday, has suspended its cruises for six weeks due to coronavirus concerns.
All of Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ operations have been suspended from Friday 13th March until Friday 24th April.
The announcement came on Friday evening, after the ship had called into Lerwick.
The Magellan was expected to head to Orkney on Saturday after visiting the isles, but is heading to its disembarkation point, the Port of Tilbury.
The decision was taken as a result of “the escalating global pandemic outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, updated government advisories and the impending lockdown of many ports around the world,” the company said, with its “top and overriding priority” the “health and safety of our passengers and crew”.
Chief executive Christian Verhounig said they had taken the “difficult decision” due to the fast-evolving global pandemic meaning they were unable to continue performing scheduled itineraries.
The Magellan arrived into Lerwick amid concerns about the role cruise ships play in the spread of coronavirus, with many in the isles venting their frustration on social media over their continued arrival.