Scotland Welcomes MS Island Sky, First Cruise Ship Since Pandemic

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Scotland has welcomed its first cruise ship since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

The 118-passenger MS Island Sky called at Lerwick Harbour, Shetland, early on July 19, thanks to the Scottish Government’s lifting of the coronavirus-related ban on cruise ships visiting Scottish ports from July 19.

Operated by Noble Caledonia, the ship berthed at Lerwick’s Victoria Pier with 66 passengers on board, half the capacity of the vessel, which is on a full circumnavigation of the UK.

“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,” Chairman of Cruise Scotland, Rob Mason, said.

“The decision to resume cruise is a welcome encouragement for our Scottish ports and harbors 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,” he added.

Scottish ports have reopened for cruise ships on UK-only sailings, carrying UK passengers. Quarantine measures are in place to protect everyone involved during visits, complementing the comprehensive steps taken by cruise operators.

“‘The health and well-being of passengers, crew, shoreside staff and the communities visited are paramount, and the current protocols have already been extensively tested as almost 600,000 people have sailed on cruises since last summer elsewhere around the globe, which includes many English ports and harbors since May of this year,” said Mason.

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