The week to come (May 20th to 25th) is expected to see Stornoway port buzzing with cruise ship visitors, with a total of seven cruise visits scheduled in six days.
From one of the regular visits by the intimate luxury yacht Hebridean Princess, to a maiden visit from the epic-scale Holland America ship Zuiderdam, it’s a week when all the islands’ tourism resources will once again pull together to create a quality experience for thousands of visitors.
Monday (May 20th) sees the return of a ship which made her maiden visit here on the port’s day of the three ships in early May – the German-flagged Hanseatic Nature. She’ll be on pier no. 3 alongside the elegant small ship Serenissima, also on her second visit this season.
Pier no. 3 sees Noble Caledonia’s traditional yacht Hebridean Sky berthed on Tuesday, bringing an adventurous type of traveller, and making an afternoon stop between visits to the Shiants and St Kilda.
Zuiderdam’s maiden visit is on Wednesday (May 22nd) midway through a 14-day fjords and highlands tour, which starts and finishes in Copenhagen and takes in Oslo, Dublin and Amsterdam as well as Scottish island highlights in Orkney and the Western Isles.
The ship has accommodation for almost 2,000 passengers and is the flagship of Holland America’s Vista-class fleet, offering passenger entertainment including a blues club and chamber music performances.
She’s the longest cruise ship to have come into Stornoway, at 285 metres (936 feet) in length, and will be anchored in the outer anchorage, where she’ll be visited by the harbourmaster for a presentation of a commemorative plaque to mark her maiden visit.
On Thursday Silversea’s Silver Wind is due into Stornoway, with a full complement of 500 – 298 passengers and 222 crew. She had a major upgrade last year and is expected to be further improved next year to give her an ice-class hull.
After a much-needed rest day on Friday, Stornoway’s cruise ambassadors and tour guides will be out once again on Saturday to welcome passengers off the Serenissima and the Hebridean Princess, both calling during leisurely local cruises taking in the Shiants, St Kilda and Ullapool.
Picture shows the Zuiderdam with her flags out (Holland America Line).