Noble Caledonia's cruise ship Island Sky recorded an unexpected double with her first and final visit to Lerwick (Mainland Shetland, Scotland), during a shortened due to the Coronavirus/COVID crisis season.
The boat arrived on Monday, September 20, carrying 93 passengers for an overnight at the port’s Victoria Pier, prior to departing on Thursday to continue the "Best of British" itinerary (circumnavigating the British Isles).
Noble Caledonia's ship was also first into Lerwick in July 2021 on the day COVID-related suspension of calls by cruise ships to ports in Scotland was lifted after 17 months, allowing UK-only cruises. Island Sky visited again in August and early September.
The season should have closed on Friday, September 24, with Crystal Endeavour's arrival on a maiden call, which was cancelled at short notice due to adverse weather conditions.
According to Lerwick Port Authority Cruise & Marketing Manager, Melanie Henderson, the return of Island Sky concluded "the successful, initial phase of rebuilding cruise traffic at Lerwick in the wake of Covid.
"It is disappointing to have the season cut even shorter at the last minute, but we look forward to welcoming Crystal Endeavour in the future.”
Island Sky is the 18th cruise ship of the 3-month season at Lerwick. Henderson added they had seen 6 maiden visits, repeat calls and operators new to the port, "with the smooth restoration giving confidence for more activity next year and getting back to more normal levels.”
With 685,000+ gross tonnes of shipping and ~8,600 passengers, the ship count was less than a 5th of what was originally scheduled for a 2021 season from March through October.
Currently scheduled are the record 112 visits for next year and 4+ million gross tonnes of shipping.