Lerwick returned to ‘normal operations’, port chief says

Record levels of activity were seen across several areas of operation last year, according to the Lerwick Port Authority as it emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The latest activity report confirms that Shetland’s principal port was used by 161,713 passengers on the ferries to-and-from Kirkwall and Aberdeen. This was up 39 per cent compared to the previous year. 

Cruise vessels also brought 129,903 visitors, up from 58,540, which added to the highest overall figure yet at 285,616 – 63 per cent up on the previous year. This reflected the record-breaking 129 cruise ships that visited the port.

Tonnage also increased by a third, as ships piloted 15,430,213 gross tonnes in 2023.

Lerwick port Authority chief executive Captain Calum grains welcomed the “recovery to normal operations” in Lerwick Harbour. 

Capt Grains said the port authority could now look forward to the year ahead. 

“We can now plan the future with renewed confidence,” he said. “With the recently completed reclamation at Arlanda available for future pelagic sector improvements and another potential record-breaking cruise season.” 

He also highlighted support for the new Rosebank oil field development and progression of plans for the ultra deep water quay. 


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