We are very excited to welcome the Tall Ships Races fleet to Lerwick in July 2023 and are working hard to ensure your arrival, stay and departure is simple and enjoyable for all crew members.
The following information will be useful in planning your visit, and our team is on hand to answer any additional questions you may have. Contact us anytime by email info@tallshipslerwick or by telephone +44(0)1595 502110.
Information on this page covers:
Arrival Clearance and Reporting
Crew Transfers in Lerwick (by air, sea, internal travel and booking arrangements)
Cruise in Company
Arrival Clearance and Reporting
Reporting requirements for arrival in the UK will be very straightforward. We are pleased to be working with GAC Shipping who will manage all paperwork for arrival and clearance reporting, whether ships arrive direct to Lerwick or any of the Scottish Cruise in Company Guest Harbours. Captains will be advised in advance of all requirements and will have a single point of contact for support with submitting the forms electronically. Our Harbour team will also be able to advise and assist with any additional information or queries at the Captain’s briefing prior to leaving Fredrikstad.
We will post any updates on this webpage, and also contact ships directly where required.
Every ship will be assigned a Liaison Officer prior to arrival in Lerwick - Class A ships will have two.
Liaison Officers will initiate contact before the fleet leaves Fredrikstad to ensure Captains have all arrival information required and to assist with any queries or bookings for visits to Guest Harbours.
Liaison staff will meet ships on arrival in Lerwick and will be on hand to assist Captains and crew with help and advice on services, shopping, getting around and booking crew activities. The activity programme will be sent in advance and many of the exciting activities on offer will be limited on participant numbers so it will be very important for ships to advise their Liaison Officers which crew members want to sign up for the programme.
Liaison Officers have already been recruited and will undergo a series of training sessions to ensure they are fully prepared to provide full support.
Crew Transfers in Lerwick
Crew transfers will take place most official port days while the fleet is in Lerwick. There are excellent daily transport links to Shetland from the Scottish mainland and also some direct flights to Norway. Being an island location, transport options will be busy and early booking is strongly advised.
Tall Ships Lerwick are pleased to advise we have working arrangements with both ferry and flight operators and there will be dedicated staff in our own office and the NorthLink Ferries team who will manage crew bookings. Please ensure all crew transfer bookings go through these channels and not through operators' commercial websites to ensure you get the best prices and reservation availability.
There are several daily flights to and from Sumburgh Airport, situated around 26 miles south of Lerwick. The flight schedule is managed by Loganair, and it takes around 1 hour from Aberdeen and 90 minutes from Inverness, Glasgow or Edinburgh. Inverness flights may include a brief stop at Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands. Loganair also operate connecting flights to a number of other regional and major UK airports including London and Manchester. Direct flights from Shetland to Bergen are available in the summer months as well as connecting flights to Oslo via Scottish mainland airports.
Coach transfers between Sumburgh Airport and Lerwick will be available during the crew transfer dates and MUST be pre-booked with the office team to ensure availability. Liaison Officers will be in place to assist arriving trainees to find their ships.
The Lerwick team are working on an agreement with Loganair for a portal booking system which will be managed by our own office staff and travel enquiries for flights should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lerwick Ferry Terminal is located next to one of the main Tall Ships berthing areas. Shuttle buses will be available nearby to transfer crew to other Tall Ship berthing areas. A Liaison Officer will meet the ferry each morning to assist with transfers.
The overnight ferry service between Aberdeen and Lerwick is provided by Serco NorthLink Ferries and departs Aberdeen at 1700 or 1900. The return ferry also operates daily, leaving Lerwick at either 1730 or 1900. (days with earlier departure times have a brief stop in Orkney)
Cabin accommodation is available, as are more economic options such as reclining seats or sleeping pods. The ships have bar, café, restaurant, and cinema facilities for passengers. Please note that cabin accommodation is limited and pods are the recommended option for trainees as a lower cost option.
The Lerwick team are working with NorthLink Ferries as the official transport provider to the event, and a dedicated team will be in place to manage trainee bookings at a reduced rate on pre-reserved pod accommodation. In order to access this, all crew transfer bookings MUST be made with this team and not directly on the website. The Lerwick Tall Ships team will share the relevant booking contact information with trainee co-ordinators on request.
Aberdeen Airport is only seven miles from the Aberdeen ferry terminal with regular services to and from major British and European cities. There are regular trains and bus services operated by First and Citylink to/from Aberdeen for ease of onward travel.
Shetland has a comprehensive bus network of frequent mainline services, rural connecting services and bookable dial-a-ride services. Bus transfers will be arranged for all scheduled Crew Activities which will be included in the Captains' and Crew Handbooks.
The team in Lerwick already have a number of enquiries for deck hire events and are keen to confirm bookings for these as early as possible. This includes opportunities in Guest Harbour locations.
In addition to traditional deck hire parties aboard larger Class A ships, there may be opportunities for ships to accommodate smaller groups for alternative functions, for which there is already a demand.
Please contact the Lerwick team to discuss potential commercial opportunities for your ship.
Cruise in Company
We have a very exciting Cruise in Company programme lined up, with 10 Guest Harbours along Norwegian and Scottish coastlines.
Early booking is advised in some harbours due to space, and also to secure income from commercial opportunities.
Full details of the locations and contact information for harbours is included in our Cruise in Company pages, and you can also contact our team directly to discuss your plans.