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Quartet of cruise records in prospect for Lerwick

Quartet of cruise records in prospect for Lerwick
Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Astoria arrived in Lerwick Harbour Sunday at the start of a record-breaking season which is expected to see the most passengers and vessels yet at the Shetland port, along with the highest gross tonnage of cruise ships, including the biggest vessels to date.

In the coming six months almost 54,000 passengers are expected, up on the 2014 record of 43,273, 78 vessels are currently due, beating the high of 52 in 2012 and the cumulative tonnage at 2,212,023 gt tops the 1,684,699gt set in 2014.

The record for the largest cruise ship will be broken twice – by P&O Cruises 115,055gt Azura on June 30, followed by Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette (122,210 gt) on August 14, with around 3,100 and 2,900 passenger capacity respectively. The current record is held by 114,288gt Costa Pacifica in June 2011.

Victor Sandison, the Port Authority’s senior commercial executive, said: “'he prospect of a complete set of new port records makes it a particularly exciting season, highlighting Lerwick’s contribution to the growing Scottish cruise industry and to the Shetland economy.'

The CMV operated Marco Polo will make the last call of the season on October 6. June and July will be the busiest months, with 18 and 23 calls due respectively.

Ten maiden calls will include Celebrity Silhouette and Viking Ocean Cruises which is visiting Scotland for the first time, with Viking Sea and Viking Star.

Sandison added: 'The completion of the new Holmsgarth North Jetty this autumn will provide further berthing facilities for cruise ships from 2017 onwards. The outlook is very positive for next season, with 54 ships already booked – promising record tonnage and over 52,000 passengers – with more to come. This early, there are also 13 bookings for 2018.'