Shetland will welcome more than 100,000 visitors as the tourist season begins, with nearly 150 cruise ships scheduled to dock at Lerwick.
The first ship of the season, Viking Venus, made port in Shetland’s capital this morning.
With a capacity of 930 passengers, the ship is on a 14-day trip from London to Bergen, Norway, and back again, with a full-day stop-off in Shetland.
Local businesses are gearing up for a busy season with 147 cruise ships due to call at Lerwick over the coming months.
The tourist season adds a much-needed boost for the islands and marks a positive future against the backdrop of the Covid recovery.
Viking Ocean Cruises are the Port of Lerwick’s biggest visitor, with 19 bookings, including the maiden call of the Viking Neptune in May.
147 cruise ships expected
Twenty-one ships will make their maiden call at Lerwick this season, with officials anticipating the “busiest cruise season yet”.
Melanie Henderson, Lerwick Port Authority cruise and marketing manager, said: “Having a meet-and-greet team back on duty to welcome passengers, and the sheer number of bookings, show how far we have come since the Covid pandemic.
“The team has a huge input on passenger satisfaction and encouraging repeat business from cruise lines.
“It means that the islands’ tourism network can look forward to its busiest cruise season yet, coinciding with another visit by the fleet of The Tall Ships Races, making for a great season.
“With strong bookings right through to 2026, the sector will continue to make a significant contribution to Shetland’s economy.”
More than 100,000 visitors are expected to step onto Shetland’s shores in the next few months.