Scottish ships throw down the gangplank

SCOTLAND’S ships are getting ready to welcome guests back on board – both at the dockside and on the high seas.

Fingal, the former lighthouse tender that was turned into a luxury floating hotel, will reopen at its berth in Leith docks on 22 July.

The ship will offer overnight stays, afternoon tea and dinner.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, Fingal’s sister ship, will welcome back visitors on 27 July, including to its tea room.

Measures introduced for the reopening include a one-way system for self-guided tours across five decks, timed tickets and reduced capacity.

Bob Downie, Britannia’s chief executive, said: “We can’t wait to welcome everyone back on board, with the overriding priority obviously being the safety of our staff and visitors, and you can be assured that when you visit we are fully adhering to all the published guidelines, and more, as our standards are already incredibly high, and carried out with passion and precision by our dedicated staff. ”

Meanwhile, The Majestic Line has unveiled its itinerary of 18 routes for 2021 and 2022, including its first cruises to Orkney.

The company, which now has four ships, is extending next season’s programme, with additional Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal cruises.

Ken Grant, managing director of The Majestic Line, said: “Orkney has always been somewhere we have wanted to cruise, so with the launch of MV Glen Shiel last year it seemed that it was the right time.

“This year has been a difficult year and we hope that in 2021 and 2022 more people will choose to discover the islands and coastlines of their own country with a small ship cruise.”

Read more about how Scotland’s businesses are bouncing back from the coronavirus lockdown on Scottish Field’s news pages.