Is­land port tar­gets fur­ther cruise liner ac­tiv­ity

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - BUSINESS - BY STAN AR­NAUD

Bosses at Shet­land’s largest port are eye­ing more records for cruise liner ac­tiv­ity in 2020, af­ter this year’s sea­son ended.

Car­ry­ing more than 76,200 pas­sen­gers, the to­tal of 99 ves­sels that called at Ler­wick in 2019 was eight more than the record set last year.

The sea­son ended ear­lier this week with the de­par­ture of Fred Olsen Cruises’ Black Watch.

Book­ings for next year will po­ten­tially break three records, with 105 cruise lin­ers, amass­ing more than four mil­lion gross tonnes, sched­uled to call. The num­ber of pas­sen­gers is ex­pected to rise to 92,000.

Ler­wick Port Author­ity’s cruise and mar­ket­ing man­ager, Me­lanie Hen­der­son, said: “The signs are very pos­i­tive for growth again next year with an en­cour­ag­ing num­ber of cruise lines sched­ul­ing re­peat calls in the sea­son and three new cruise lines vis­it­ing for the first time – Car­ni­val, Mys­tic and Tui.”

Ler­wick’s 2019 cruise sea­son had a num­ber of can­cel­la­tions be­cause of ex­ter­nal fac­tors, such as weather and op­er­a­tional changes.

Ms Hen­der­son added: “Call-offs to sched­uled vis­its are dis­ap­point­ing for the pas­sen­gers and every­one in­volved on­shore, par­tic­u­larly when the causes are be­yond our con­trol.

“Ler­wick and Shet­land’s rep­u­ta­tion as a must-see des­ti­na­tion is as strong as ever, with a num­ber of ac­co­lades in 2019 and book­ings up to four years ahead.”

Fred Olsen Cruises’ Black Watch in Ler­wick har­bour

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