Shetland reported a record-breaking year for cruise ship visitors. Over 90,000 cruise passengers arrived in 2018, which is a 78% increase.
Another record was the call of MSC Meraviglia in July, the largest cruise vessel yet at Lerwick with a total of 5,092 cruise passengers and around 1,500 crew. Based on berth bookings, 2019 is already more successful.
Lerwick Port Authority senior commercial executive, Victor Sandison, said that in a rapidly expanding global market, and with another 90 ships on order over the next 5 years, there was increasing requirement for special spots to visit and the increrasing popularity of Shetland and its attractions as top destination augured well for the future.
He added there were 115 ships, including 12 maiden visits, booked so far for next year, up 25% on 2018, with guest numbers approaching 92,000. Highlights include a call by Queen Victoria in July.