Scotland welcomes first cruise call since early 2020

Scotland welcomes first cruise call since early 2020

Melanie Henderson

Island Sky at Lerwick on 19 July

Scotland welcomed its first cruise call since early 2020 on 19 July 2021, the same day the Scottish Government lifted its Covid-19-related ban on domestic cruising in the country.

Noble Caledonia’s Island Sky berthed at Victoria Pier in Lerwick Harbour on the Shetland Islands with 66 passengers onboard (half its capacity) during a circumnavigation of the UK.

Now that government restrictions have lifted, Scottish ports are permitted to host calls from cruise ships carrying UK passengers on UK-only sailings. They are all operating in accordance with strict health and safety protocols to protect the health and well-being of passengers, crew, shoreside staff and port communities.

“Over the last year, the cruise sector has worked tirelessly with the Scottish and UK Governments and industry partners to develop and strengthen health and safety measures which now exceed those of any other travel sector and are the result of extensive collaboration,” said Rob Mason, chairman of Cruise Scotland, which counts 16 ports and harbours on the Scottish mainland and the islands as members.

“The decision to resume cruise is a welcome encouragement for our Scottish ports and harbours with the wider supply chain now able to recommence operations, welcoming UK sailings and UK passengers only, after a period of nearly 18 months following a voluntary suspension of visits in March 2020.”

Noting that Noble Caledonia’s visit “reflects the pent-up demand” by passengers and operators to visit Scotland, Mason said that expected arrivals until the end of the 2021 season are “very encouraging”.

“There are healthy volumes of bookings for next year and 2023,” he said. “The restart and outlook reinforce plans to relaunch our marketing campaign and return in time to record levels of activity, making significant contributions to the Scottish economy, while ensuring all involved are in safe hands.”

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
20 July 2021

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