Port Information

Lerwick is a well-established town that owes its success to the shelter provided by the island of Bressay, which creates the natural harbour. The port is home to many commercial vessels such as the fishing fleet and ferries, is a port of call for cruise ships and also provides support for offshore oil and gas.

About Lerwick Harbour

Lerwick Harbour has a long tradition of welcoming international tall ships and yachts. Lerwick was a host port for the Tall Ships Races in 1999 and looks forward to hosting the Races again in 2011.

Facilities For Visiting Sailors 

Lerwick Port Authority has town-centre facilities for summer visitors arriving by yacht and has long experience of tall ships and their requirements. Lerwick Boating Club is a friendly and helpful stop and their showers and laundry facilities have been well received by many visiting crews. All amenities are close to hand in the town-centre but for those wishing a quieter experience, there are anchorages available within a short distance.

Sail Training

Sailing has a high profile in the islands and Shetland is pleased to support sail training for young people. The build-up to the 2011 Races includes an annual sponsorship programme for sail trainees. This Shetland Sail Training scheme will support young adults to participate in The Tall Ships Races.

Shetland’s own sail training vessel “Swan” has a popular sailing programme at www.swantrust.org.uk with trips ranging from a short evening sail to a long international voyage.

Sailing Events 

The long summer nights at the end of June see a number of sailing events including two annual international yacht races: www.shetland-race.no and www.1000mile.org. In addition, the Round Britain & Ireland Race calls in to Lerwick every four years. These events are complemented by Shetland’s summer festival, the Johnsmas Foy featuring the Flavour Of Shetland event. For further information on Shetland's Marinas click here.


Sail training vessels are asked to contact Lerwick Port Authority in advance of arrival.

  • Bona fide sailing training vessels – free harbour charges for stays up to three days, free linesmen to moor and let-go vessel if required.
  • Pilotage not compulsory if trainees are crew (only compulsory if passengers onboard). If a pilot is requested, charge of one hour for Pilot and one hour for Pilot vessel will apply.
  • Small quantities of water and electricity (where available) provided free of charge.
  • Town centre berth provided if available.

Berths Available

Berth NameMin Depth (Metres)Berth Length (Metres)
Albert Wharf North 3.7 57
Albert Wharf South 2.5 - 3.7 126
Alexandra Wharf North 4.4 63
Alexandra Wharf South 4.2 75
Breakwater 5.3 38
Freefield North 3.1 - 4.7 50
Freefield East 0.5 - 4.5 68
Holmsgarth No. 4 (Ro Ro) 7.2 124
Holmsgarth No. 5 9.2 163
Laurenson Quay (Fishmarket) 4.6 87
Malakoff Pier 3.5 12
Morrison Dock North (X Berth) 3.2 - 5.0 46
Morrison Dock East 5.0 - 8.0 131
Morrison Dock West 3.2 - 4.0 147
Shearers North 5.3 70
Shearers West (Ice Berth) 3.0 - 6.0 52
Spur Jetty North 4.2 - 7.0 38
Victoria Pier North 2.5 - 6.0 122
Victoria Pier South 1.5 - 6.8 140
Victoria Pier East (OVPA) 6.8 - 9.2 91
Victoria Pier West (IVPA) 6.0 - 8.4 61


Assistance, if required, is available from experienced ship’s agencies and there are also local Consuls for Norway, Germany, Sweden, Finland and France.

  • France – Ruth Henderson – Tel: 01595 693 644
  • Finland, Germany, Norway – John Smith – Tel: 01595 692 186
  • Sweden – Iain Tulloch – Tel: 01595 692 991


Navigation Channels

Refer to Admiralty Charts 3271 and 3272.

Deepwater channels dredged in 1990, 2000 and 2008.


Pilotage is compulsory for vessels navigating within the Pilotage limits of Lerwick Harbour, which fall within the following categories, namely:

  • (a) every ship carrying passenger(s) and having a registered length of not less than 30 metres.
  • (b) every oil tanker having a gross tonnage of not less than 1600 intending to berth, anchor, shift within, or transit through the area of the Inner Harbour.
  • (c) every ship having onboard any explosive article or an explosive substance exceeding ten kilograms in weight and to which Article 3 of The Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 37) apply and which have the characteristic properties and are classified as Class 1, Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.5 by Schedule of said Regulations.
  • (d)
    • i) other than a fishing vessel, every vessel exceeding 25 metres in length towing or under tow.
    • ii) every fishing vessel of which the registered length exceeds 47.5 metres towing or under tow.
  • (e) every vessel able only to manoeuvre with difficulty.
  • (f) every vessel having a gross tonnage of not less than 3000 intending to berth, anchor, shift within, or transit through the area of the Inner Harbour.

Pilot Boarding

Vessels entering by the south entrance will be boarded west of Kirkabister Lighthouse or near Knab Point if weather conditions are unsuitable. Vessels entering by the north entrance will be boarded abeam of the Green Holm and 0.5 miles NE of Beosetter Holm. If boarding conditions in this area are unsuitable, the south entrance must be used.

Pilot Stations:

South 60º 07’.2N 001º 08’.28W

North 60º 11’.78N 001º 06’.7W

Port Control

Full radar coverage of the harbour maintaining a continuous watch throughout 24 hours.

In case of emergency, Port Control Office is accessible outwith normal working hours through security door located at the north end of Albert Building.



Fully compliant with the International Ship and Port Facility Security Codes (ISPS).

Approved by H.M. Revenue and Customs & H.M. Immigration.


  • Ship chandlers and repair services.
  • Sail repairs, cooking gas.
  • Electricity connection points.
  • Fuel readily available.
  • Wireless internet connection in port area.
  • Local Tourist Information Centre adjacent in town centre.
  • Town centre location with all amenities.
  • Lerwick Boating Club provides shower and laundry facilities for visiting crews.


The mean tidal range is 0.8 metres neaps and 1.6 metres at Spring tides. The extreme range is only 2.2 metres.


Notice: 1hr. Capacity 24 & 22 tonne BP.


There are options in travelling to-and-from Shetland for crew changes.

  • Daily overnight ferries between Aberdeen (mainland Scotland) and Lerwick: www.northlinkferries.co.uk.
  • Flights to/from Sumburgh Airport, Shetland (25 miles/40 kilometres from Lerwick – buses/taxis/car hire available). Direct daily flights to-and-from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh. www.flybe.com.

There are numerous national and international connections to and from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

VHF Radio Communication

Lerwick Port Control VHF Channels 12 and 16.

Waste Facilities

Covered rubbish skips and litter bins provided at all berths for ship’s domestic waste are strategically placed to cater for each dock/pier. Recycling facilities for glass bottles and aluminium drink cans are located on Victoria Pier. Hazardous/Special waste facilities are available.


Available at most berths by 2.5 in. diameter water hose connections, 40-50 t.p.h.