Largest cruise ship yet arrives in Lerwick

IT WAS a case of the new passing the old this morning (Monday) as the MSC Virtuosa cruise ship passed the historic Mousa Broch on her way to Lerwick as she made her maiden visit to Shetland.

The ship, which cost €800 million to build, is the largest to ever visit Lerwick Harbour.

She is a 181,541 gross tonne ship, with a capacity for up to 6,334 passengers and 1,704 crew.

The 18-deck MSC Virtuosa has a length of 332 metres.

There are 60 nationalities on board on a seven-day Norwegian Fjords voyage, with the ship due to leave Lerwick later in the day.

The vessel is anchored in the deep-water harbour, with passengers transferring by tender to and from Victoria Pier in the town centre.

Lerwick Port Authority’s cruise and marketing manager Melanie Henderson said: “The majority of cruise ships visiting Lerwick are small to medium-sized vessels.

“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 is also operating.”

The largest previous cruise vessel to call at Lerwick was Virtuosa‘s sister ship, MSC Meraviglia (171,598 gross tonnes) in July 2018.

Meanwhile the cruise liner Hebridean Sky is also in port today, berthed at Victoria Pier East. She is much smaller at 91m.

Over the season more than 140 cruise liners are expected to visit Lerwick Harbour.

Photo: Dave Donaldson, Shetland Flyer Aerial Media

From large to little – a much smaller Hebridean Sky is also in Lerwick today. Photo: Jim Mullay

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