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Cruise ship passengers enjoy their day in Hoy

The Berlin arriving alongside at Lyness on Monday.
(Picture: Robert Ionides)

The visit of the first ever modern-day cruise ship to Lyness has been hailed as a success.

The Berlin spent the day alongside Lyness yesterday, Monday, while on charter to the National Trust for Scotland, taking passengers on what was described as a ‘cultural cruise.’

A spokesman for the National Trust for Scotland said: “The National Trust for Scotland has been running its Cultural Cruises for over sixty years with the objective of taking passengers to visit some of Scotland’s most breathtaking landscapes and islands.  Over 30,000 people have joined our cruises in that time.

“This year, for the first time, we have three cruises, the first of which is aboard the MV Berlin to experience the ‘Northern Delights’.

The ship set off from Leith on Sunday arriving at Hoy the next day, before going on to Kirkwall, arriving this morning, Tuesday.

The spokesman added: “Highlights of the visits to Orkney include disembarkation to visit Scapa Flow and the Hoy bird reserve, Melsetter House, Longhope Lifeboat Museum, the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae. One of the great things about these cruises is that the passengers are all deeply interested in heritage and have a real hunger to hear about the long history of the islands and the story behind the Viking influence upon them.

“After Kirkwall, the Berlin heads south-west to the archipelago of St Kilda, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is the country’s only dual World Heritage Site. Famously abandoned by its remaining population in 1930, it became known as the ‘islands at the edge of the world’ and is now the isolated home of millions of seabirds and a treasure trove of archaeological relics.

“On leaving St Kilda, the ship turns north again to set sail for Shetland where, on two successive days, she docks at Fetlar and Lerwick. After this, she moves off to Peterhead to finish the cruise, with disembarkation to the many NTS properties in Aberdeenshire, before a return to Leith on June 11.

Michael Morrison, business development manager at Orkney Islands Council said that the visit of the ship to Lyness had indeed been a success and that he had heard excellent feedback from those on the ship, as well as from the various locations passengers had visited throughout the day.

The liner required tug assistance on leaving Lyness, and again on arrival at Hatston this morning.

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