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Scenic boat tours around Bressay and Noss
the Galathea underway
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 ✲  Our season runs from 1 May to 10 September  ✲ 

Cruising to Shetland?

If you’re visiting Shetland on your passage, you’re in good company. Shetland is a popular destination: this year, between the end of April and October, 80 cruise liners are scheduled to stop here. They come for the seabirds and seals, the stunning coastal scenery, the arts, the culture…the Shetland ponies!
At Above&UnderWater Shetland, we love cruise liner passengers! In general, we find “cruisers” to be fun, confident, widely–travelled and very interesting people…who are very interested in a wide range of topics. We’d like to think our tours will give you ‘a little learning with a load of laughs’. So, welcome, cruisers! This page gives a bit more information on questions you might have before your brief visit to Shetland.

cruise ship photo
Entering Lerwick harbour

Anchoring, Mooring and Disembarkation

Cruise liners dock or anchor at one of five locations in Lerwick:

To find out which location your ship will use, go onto the Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) website Visiting Cruise Ships page. It will give you details of where and when your cruise ship is scheduled to anchor or dock in Shetland. Please keep in mind that LPA times are local times (GMT) and your cruise liner schedule may refer to ‘ship time’, which may differ.

photo of cruise ship tenders at Albert Dock
Tenders at Albert Dock
on Victoria Pier
  • If your ship is scheduled to moor (dock) at Holmsgarth, buses will take you from the terminal to the centre of town, which is only 5 minutes away by bus (or taxi). Buses stop right at Victoria Pier.
  • If your ship is scheduled to anchor in the Inner Harbour or Breiwick Bay, your ship’s tenders (or ‘waterbuses’) will take you from the ship to Albert Dock, on the north side of Victoria Pier.
  • If your ship is scheduled to moor (dock) at Victoria Pier East or Victoria Pier West, you’re in luck! You’ve landed right in the centre of town, at Victoria Pier.

Boarding for our Tours

photo of slipway
The slipway

Conveniently located in the very centre of town, we board our guests at the slipway (sloping ramp) in the ‘Small Boat Harbour’, on the south side of Victoria Pier, where there is a carpark. Albert Dock, where many cruise ships disembark their passengers, is on the north side of Victoria Pier. It’s a short walk across the carpark to the slipway. Buses from Holmsgarth terminal drop passengers off at the bus stop right next to Victoria Pier.
So, wherever your ship anchors or moors, it’s a very short walk to where we board our guests.
You can download our map of Lerwick harbour that shows locations of the centre of town, moorings, anchorages, bus stops, the Tourist Office and our boarding location.

Payment & Cancellation Policy

We prefer that our guests provide payment when they book a tour with us. We know, however, that circumstances outwith your control — especially weather — mean that, as the Scottish poet, Robert Burns, says: “The best–laid schemes o’ mice an’ men/Gang aft agley” (often go awry).
It’s very unlikely that your cruise ship will be significantly late or cancel its visit; but if this happens and prevents you from taking a tour you’ve booked with us, we understand. And we’re willing to undertake this risk — we don’t ask it of you. If your ship cancels its visit or alters its schedule to prevent you from taking a tour you’ve booked with us, we’ll refund any pre–payment. Please see the cancellation section on our Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) page for details.

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Check out our photo gallery!

OtherActivities in Lerwick & Shetland

Of course, we think we’re the most interesting activity in Shetland! But there’s so much to do here, you may be spoilt for choice. If the weather’s fine, a walk around (especially around ‘The Knab’) is wonderful. The shops in the town centre are — unlike those in many British town centres — mainly small, locally owned businesses. In less–than–ideal weather, the award–winning Shetland Museum, in the historic “Hay’s Dock” area of Lerwick, is well worth a look.
There are several land–based tour operators, such as Island Trails, that provide small, personalised tours of Shetland. A tour by taxi is surprisingly economical. We recommend Sinclair’s Taxis or Allied Taxis, who have more experienced and knowledgeable driver/guides.
The two official tourist websites, VisitScotland and Promote Shetland are very good for activity ideas. Staff in the local VisitScotland Tourist Office, in the centre of Lerwick, are particularly knowledgeable and helpful.
Have a look on our links page for more ideas.

Lost? Head for our sitemap to find the page you need.

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