P&O Cruises now offer a selection of cruises that include the town of Lerwick in The Scottish Shetland Isles as a Port-of-Call.
Bustling Lerwick is the capital, and only town, of Scotland’s Shetland Islands. Founded in the 17th century to service Dutch herring fleets, a number of its oldest structures, including the fort, were burnt to the ground many years ago. Today most of its historical architecture can be seen along the waterfront, including sandstone buildings, which date from the 18th century.
Perched on the hillside, over the harbour, the town’s lanes retain their charm. As you stroll the narrow streets, you will discover a mix of shops and restaurants, whilst up on the hillhead stand more recent additions including villas, public parks and the Town Hall.
The Shetland’s have an internationally celebrated musical heritage, in particular, their fiddle playing, which you might get the chance to sample whilst here. They also have a fascinating story to tell through the many, rich archaeological sites that can be found here, with remains dating back some 5,000 years.
A full list of the P&O cruises that feature Lerwick as a Port of Call can be found here:
P&O Lerwick Cruises also feature a fantastic selection of shore excursions. We’ve listed a few of the most popular excursions below. Please check the P&O Lerwick Excursions page for a complete list of current excursions.
Scenic Shetland and Jarlshof Settlement
Enjoy the unique, picturesque landscape of the Shetland Islands and visit one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Europe.
Enjoy a short tour of Lerwick Town, capital of the Shetland Islands, and the most northerly town in the British Isles. The compact town is built of stone, with narrow paved streets to give the residents some protection from the fierce winter gales. It has a very unique character not found elsewhere in the world; founded on the fishing industry and with strong Viking connections, little now remains of the old village of Lerwick.
Travelling south along the coastal road with the sea on one side and the hills of the South Mainland on the other, you’ll pass through several small settlements. A stop will be made to see the Island of Mousa, home of the best preserved Broch (Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure) in existence. Drive on a short way to Hoswick and make a stop at the Hoswick Visitor Centre, a small souvenir shop and local museum about Shetland life, including information about the world renowned Shetland weaving.
From Hoswick, there is a short drive to the remarkable archaeological site of the Jarlshof settlement at Sumburgh, on the southern tip of the mainland. Jarlshof presents one of the most interesting remains of early human habitation and displays, through its monuments and ancient dwellings, a view of many different peoples and periods.
Refreshments of tea or coffee and shortbread will be served during the tour.
Shetland Ponies and Panorama
Enjoy a scenic and cultural tour of Shetland and admire the photogenic Shetland ponies for which the islands are renowned.
Shetland has a 5,000 year old history, which has provided the islands with a fascinating background, steeped in legends and myths. Lerwick began as a fishing port in the 17th century, and today the centre of Lerwick is full of character. Moving through the town you’ll see the Town Hall and other interesting monuments before travelling out to Scalloway. A photo stop will be made en route at the Clickimin Broch, a drystone hollow-walled structure, with surrounding buildings dating from the Iron Age.
Arriving in the old town of Scalloway, the 2nd largest settlement on the mainland, see the ancient Castle, built around 1600 by Earl Patrick Stewart. Free time is given to enable you to browse the shops or soak up the atmosphere.
Your journey continues past the pretty Loch of Tingwall, where a stop will be made to photograph the small, beautiful Shetland ponies. Back on the shores of Weisdale Voe, a visit will be made to Shetland Jewellery, where traditional local jewellery is still hand crafted in the Celtic and Norse inspired fashions.
On the return journey, ascend Wormadale Hill to enjoy panoramic views across the water of Whiteness Voe.
Mousa Island, Broch and Seals
Gain an insight into one of Shetland’s most picturesque islands and visit the best preserved Iron Age Broch in the world.
Departing Lerwick, travel south along the coastal road passing through several small settlements before reaching the village of Cunningsburgh. Travel by ferry to Mousa, where your skipper will be delighted to point out any sightings of porpoises or seals for which the island is famous. Mousa Sound is one of Scotland’s most important sites for the endangered Harbour Porpoise, present between May and September.
Once on the island, you’ll walk to the famous Mousa Broch, the most magnificent and awe-inspiring of all of the world’s Brochs. At 42 feet high, the tower is the tallest and best preserved Broch (an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure) in the world combining features of a fort, fortified house and status symbol.
If you wish, take a guided walk of just under 2 miles to explore more of Mousa and perhaps see some seals in their natural habitat at the ‘Home of the Seals’. The circular walk will take you past 2 pools, which are known seal resting sites. You may also see many kinds of birds including Arctic Terns, Arctic Skuas and Great Skuas.
If you do not wish to take the walk, you will have time to explore the mysterious structure of the Broch and take photos from the tower where the views are magnificent and unspoiled.
Lerwick Walking Tour
Situated amidst an archipelago of islands, Lerwick has fascinating stories to tell as well as unique architecture to discover.
The ancient fishing port of Lerwick, is the cultural and administrative hub of the Shetland Islands, the most northerly islands in Britain. The town itself dates from the 17th century, when it began to grow as a trading port for Dutch herring fishermen. Local merchants built Lodberries (houses with their own piers) to serve incoming fishing boats direct from their own properties, which still stand along the harbour front.
Overlooking the harbour is Fort Charlotte, built in 1665 and later rebuilt in 1781. The Fort provides panoramic views over the harbour, which, though not in use today, was once a prison and a Royal Navy reserve base.
Lerwick Town Hall was completed in 1884, due to the wealth the herring industry brought. Inside the Victorian building you will find a delightful insight into the development of the islands through its stained glass windows.
A visit to the Shetland Museum and Archives, opened in 2007, provides an interesting insight into island life, past and present. View the various displays of archaeology, folk life, social and maritime history, as well as exhibitions of contemporary art.
Also intriguing are the narrow lanes that run from the harbour area to the top of the hill, home to many secret tales from the lives of the town’s inhabitants. Your knowledgeable guide will bring the town to life as they recount the town’s history and regale you with stories of local life.
You will find the full and current list of P&O Lerwick Shore Excursions at
Book online and qualify for P&O online booking discounts.
All P&O Cruises to Lerwick are fully bookable online at P&O Cruises.Share