Stornoway’s Deep Water Terminal to begin operations in 2024
Work on the transformational facility, able to accommodate vessels up to 360m in length and 10m draught, began in spring this year, after Stornoway Port Authority signed a £49 million (€56.6 million) construction contract with building and civil engineering firm, McLaughlin and Harvey.
The major development will establish Stornoway as the only port in the Outer Hebrides where large ships can come alongside. It will enable the islands to realise their full potential as a call on UK cruise itineraries, being an overnight sail to and from Greenock, Invergordon, Orkney and Belfast.
Alex MacLeod, chief executive of Stornoway Port Authority, said: “It is fantastic to be able to confirm that this facility will be ready well in time for the 2024 cruise season. After a number of years of planning and hard work along with our partners, which included overcoming the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, it is very exciting to have reached the construction stage of this vital project. It will bring transformative and sustainable change to the economy of the Outer Hebrides.”
A number of cruiselines have already confirmed calls at the new berth for the 2024 season and Stornoway Port Authority is expecting many more bookings in the months ahead.
The Deep Water Terminal is expected to deliver a major boost to the economy, by bringing more tourists to Lewis and Harris.
There are two quays in this multifunctional project, the main one being able to accommodate ships up to 360m in length. There is no passenger building as this is not a turnaround port, but like a number of other similar ports, on certain occasions there may be marquees in place. The new berths will be within walking distance of the centre of Stornoway, the main town and capital of the Outer Hebrides and shuttle busses will be available for passengers.
Michelle Lupino, Ambassador Cruise Line’s head of destination management, commented: “We’ve waited a long time and are delighted to see this new facility at Stornoway in time for the 2024 season. The islands of Lewis and Harris have much to interest our guests in terms of history and nature and thanks to this new development, we are now able to look at additional overnight calls, to take in the local folklore and evening entertainment.”
Among the islands’ attractions are Harris Tweed, the 5,000-year-old Lewis Chessmen, traditional Blackhouse villages and some stunning beaches.