Stornoway is a port town on Isle of Lewis, part of Scotland's Outer Hebrides (Western Isles). The town has population around 8,000, ranking it biggest in the Hebrides. Stornoway is a major seaport of Outer Hebrides, serving both passenger ships (ferries and cruise liners) and cargo ships.
Stornoway harbour houses small shipyard, slipway (boat ramp), boat marina (with yacht moorings), 3 large docking piers (for commercial ships), Stornoway Lifeboat Station (run by Royal National Lifeboat Institution). Here is homeported a large fishing fleet and Tom Sanderson (lifeboat). HMCG (UK coastguard) operates the Maritime Rescue Sub Centre is also housed in the harbour area.
In 2007, were proposed plans for building an undersea tunnel between Harris and Lewis and mainland Scotland (Stornoway-Ullapool). One of the possible routes would be over 40 ml (60 km) long - ranking it world's longest road tunnel.
The annual Hebridean Celtic Festival (HebCelt) is a 4-day event in July attracting over 10,000 tourists. Black pudding is a popular gourmet dish with PGI status - granted by European Commission to prevent puddings produced elsewhere to be marketed as "Stornoway".
Notable buildings in the town include Lews Castle, Stornoway Town Hall, Lewis War Memorial, Lewis Loom Centre, Lanntair (modern art centre with gallery, auditorium, bar, restaurant).
In 2017, the cruise port handled a total of 43 ship calls. In 2019 were handled 57 ship calls and ~16,500 cruise tourists, arriving mostly on smaller-sized vessels. Maiden port calls in 2019 made Queen Victoria (Cunard), Hanseatic Nature (Hapag-Lloyd), Le Champlain (Ponant), Zuiderdam (Holland America), AIDAaura (AIDA), Crystal Serenity (Crystal Ocean), Star Pride (Windstar).
Stornoway cruise terminal
Ferries and cruise ships to Lewis and Harris Island dock at Stornoway - port town on the eastern coast. The ferry terminal is operated by CalMac Ferries - largest ferry (passenger and vehicle shipping) operator between mainland Scotland and 22 large islands on country's west coast.
Ferry port's address is "Ferry Terminal, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2AE". Passenger terminal's opening hours are:
- (Winter months) Monday to Friday (5:45 am - 7 am / 9 am - 5 pm), Saturday (9 am - 2:30 pm) and Sunday (12-midnight - 2:30 pm).
- (Summer months) Monday to Friday (5:45 am - 7 am / 9 am - 5 pm), Saturday (5:45 am - 7 am. / 9 am - 3:30 pm) and Sunday (6:45 am - 8 am / 12-midnight - 3 pm).
CalMac Ferries between Stornoway and Ullapool offer 3 daily crossings, with travel time 2,5 hours.
New cruise berth Pier 3
In 2018, Stornoway Port Authority started tendering for the design of a new (cruise-dedicated) berth with capacity to serve world's biggest passenger ships. The design project was completed in May 2019. Construction works started in December 2019, with scheduled completion by June 2022.
The new cruise terminal at Pier 3 is in downtown Stornoway, and also serves the Stornoway-Ullapool ferries. The ferry terminal building provides modern amenities (including WCs, Wi-Fi, information, tours booking, car rentals, etc) for both cruise and ferry passengers. Tourists are greeted by a voluntary group of Stornoway Cruise Ambassadors who provide complimentary maps, info and advice on the region's most popular activities.
Currently, at Port Stornoway can dock only cruise ships with max LOA length 156 m (512 ft). Larger vessels are anchored and their passengers transported/ferried ashore via ship's tender boats. The new deepwater quay will allow berthing of liners with max LOA length 350 m (1148 ft), which will result in bigger annual cruise shipping traffic (up to 40 vessels) and increased tourist numbers, meaning more revenues to the Outer Hebrides economy.
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