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MSC Virtuosa becomes largest vessel to call at Lerwick

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MSC Virtuosa, the largest cruise ship to call at Lerwick, Shetland
MSC Virtuosa set a record for Lerwick Harbour when it became the largest vessel by gross tonnage to call at the port in Shetland, Scotland. 

The 181,541gt ship sailed from Southampton to Lerwick on May 20, where passengers were welcomed by a local troupe dressed as Vikings – members of the Lerwick Jarl Squad. 

‘The majority of cruise ships visiting Lerwick are small- to medium-sized vessels,’ said Melanie Henderson, Lerwick Port Authority’s cruise & marketing manager. ‘Virtuosa’s maiden call is another example of Shetland’s popularity as a tourist destination, and the port’s capacity to welcome the larger vessels…’ 

There were 60 nationalities on board, with passengers transferred by tender to-and-fro Victoria Pier in the town centre. 

Until the arrival of MSC Virtuosa, the largest vessel to call at Lerwick was the 171,598gt MSC Meraviglia in 2018. 

Lerwick is forecast to receive 144 cruise calls and 130,000 cruise passengers this season, which would be record figures for the port.   

In 2023, the port documented 129 cruise calls and 124,000 cruise passenegers. 

Norwegian fjords 

MSC Virtuosa then set sail for Nordfjordeid, Norway, continuing its seven-day voyage to the Norwegian fjords.

TAGS: UK & Ireland