Additional travel services available for visitors to The Tall Ships Races

Additional travel services are now available to visitors and crews planning to travel to Shetland next summer to join the fun, festivities and celebrations of The Tall Ships Races 2011-Lerwick from 21 to 24 July.

As the countdown to one of the most fantastic spectacles of the maritime calendar begins, Scotland’s Airline, Loganair and NorthLink Ferries have extended a special welcome to visitors by increasing their services during the event to meet the demands of the thousands hoping to flock to Lerwick.

The Tall Ships Races 2011, presented by Szczecin, organised by Sail Training International (http://www.sailtraininginternational.org/) start in Waterford, Ireland on 30 June, with vessels racing to Scotland, calling at Greenock and then taking the Cruise in Company leg to Shetland. Lerwick will then host the Ships for four fun-packed days before the start of Race Two sailing to Stavanger in Norway.

Additional Loganair services will operate from 21 to 23 July 2011 where the airline is already reporting strong advance bookings on its existing schedule of flights. Extra services to Sumburgh, the main airport serving the Shetland Isles, will leave from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Bergen with at least one additional flight per day from each location.

On Friday 22 July, the Aberdeen to Sumburgh service will include an additional three flights while the Edinburgh to Sumburgh and Glasgow to Sumburgh routes have added two further flight times to the usual schedule.

Fiona Dally, project manager for The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick, said: “The Tall Ships Races is a fantastic tourist attraction for the area and the Lerwick event in 2011 is gearing up to be a huge success. With Shetland being voted as one of top 10 places in the world to visit by Lonely Planet recently, we expect the event to attract thousands of visitors over the weekend and are incredibly grateful to both Loganair and NorthLink for all their support.”

Jonathan Hinkles, Commercial Director of Loganair, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be providing extra services to Lerwick from across Scotland in support of The Tall Ships Races 2011 coming to Shetland.

“As Scotland’s oldest airline, Loganair provides a lifeline service to some of the most remote communities across the country and we are proud to be an integral part of local life in these regions.”

NorthLink Ferries is also pleased to be assisting with crew transfers and is offering additional sailings to and from Shetland on Friday 22 July. Reduced fares are available on a first come, first served basis to vessel crew members.

NorthLink’s commercial director Cynthia Spencer said: “The nautical traditions of Shetlanders and the Shetland Isles are known and appreciated worldwide. For that reason - but also in recognition of the unique and spectacular attractions which Shetland offers - it is particularly appropriate that the Tall Ships should come calling to Lerwick in 2011.

“We were pleased to be asked to do our bit to ensure that the Tall Ships event in Lerwick would be the great success that we all know it will be and delighted to provide two additional day sailings to support the event. A voyage north to Lerwick from Aberdeen on our cruise-quality passenger ferries would be the perfect way for crew and visitors to begin their Tall Ships experience.”

Attended by nautical enthusiasts from across the globe, organisers anticipate up to 3,000 crew will take part in the Race festivities from 21 to 24 July 2011 in Shetland.

The additional flight services are currently on sale via www.flybe.com and crew members can contact NorthLink Ferries to register their interest at www.northlinkferries.co.uk/tallships.