MSC Preziosa cruise ship too big for Port Stornoway (Scotland) forced to anchor outside

   September 19, 2023 ,   Cruise Industry

A massive cruise vessel (longer than seven jumbo jets) found itself in a unique predicament when it couldn't fit into a Scottish port on Monday, September 18th. MSC Preziosa (volume 139000 GT-tons) had set her sights on docking near Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.

Stornoway, the principal town of the Western Isles and the administrative center of Lewis and Harris, has a population of ~6000, just slightly more than the Preziosa's maximum passenger capacity of 4378. Operated by MSC Cruises, the liner boasts 1751 staterooms and requires ~1390 crew/staff to ensure smooth operations when fully occupied.

However, MSC Preziosa, due to her significant length (333 m / 1093 ft) and draft (8,7 m / 29 ft), was too large to berth at Stornoway's dock. Instead, she had to remain anchored in the outer area south of Arnish Lighthouse for the duration of the cruise.

A similar situation occurred recently when a 60,000-ton ship visited a small Cornish town, causing some local consternation. Spirit of Adventure arrived in Fowey on September 3rd, increasing the town's population of 2,240 by nearly half, thanks to its maximum passenger capacity of 987.

This substantial 774-ft vessel became the largest passenger ship ever to visit the charming town, according to Fowey Harbour's records.