New sightseeing bus service launches for tourists and locals alike

A new sightseeing bus service launches today (Sunday) for visitors, cruise ship passengers and Shetlanders too.

R Robertson & Son Ltd will be operating four circular journeys every Sunday until 20th September.

Operations manager Alex Johnson said the idea came from conversations with the Lerwick Port Authority and tour guides regarding the lack of activities on Sunday for cruise ship passengers and visitors.

It is also hoped to address some of the pressures on public bus services, which have been exacerbated by the large number of cruise passengers visiting Shetland.

As reported in this week’s newspaper, the first cruise ship arrival of the season last Saturday, saw the number six service from Sumburgh to Lerwick packed with tourists to such an extent that no one else was able to board. 

Last year a disabled woman had been stranded inm Levenwick for several hours due to a similar issue with the number six.

Mr Johnson said: “It is hoped that this service will go some way to relieving the pressure on existing local bus services which struggled with capacity on busy days last summer, whilst also providing additional transport options to local residents.”

The service will operate a 108-minute loop from Lerwick, including the piers, Viking Bus Station and Esplanade, and covers sites such as Clickimin Broch, the Sands of Sound, Scalloway, Hamnavoe, Meal Beach, Law Ting Holm and Tingwall Loch.

Passengers can purchase a day ticket for unlimited travel so they can “hop on and off” during the day.

Managing director Sonia Robertson said it was Shetland’s first commercial bus service, operating without council support, which meant it was exempt from providing free and discounted travel.

“So far, we’ve received very positive feedback from the public and those within the tourism and cruise sectors,” she said.

“It’s very much available to local people and we would encourage its use.”

Tickets can be purchased online through Viator, or by cash or card from the driver.


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