Cruise ship too big to fit in Scottish island port forced to anchor outside

The MSC Preziosa was too big to dock at Stornoway
The MSC Preziosa was too big to dock at Stornoway

A cruise ship the length of seven jumbo jets was forced to anchor outside a port in Scotland after it was too big to fit inside.

The 139,000-ton MSC Preziosa vessel was attempting to dock by the town of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.

The main town of the Western Isles and the capital of Lewis and Harris in Scotland, Stornoway only has around a quarter more inhabitants than the number of passengers who can fit on the Preziosa: 6,000 and 4,345 respectively.

Operated by MSC Cruises, the liner has 1,745 cabins and needs around 1,388 crew members to operate it when the ship is at capacity.

It was both too long and deep to fit in the berth at Stornoway’s dock, having to remain in the outer anchorage south of Arnish lighthouse for the cruise’s duration instead.

It follows the story of a 60,000-ton ship docking at a small Cornish town, prompting anger from locals.

The Spirit of Adventure arrived in Fowey on 3 September, swelling the town’s population of 2,2240 by nearly half, with a maximum passenger capacity of 987.

The 774ft vessel was the biggest cruise liner to have ever moored in the quaint town, according to Fowey Harbour.

Some locals were angered by the oversized visitor docking in their town, and shared their frustrations on X/Twitter.

One social media user said: “The same thing will happen to Fowey Harbour that happened to Venice with these cruise ships.

“They destroy the area and overrun it with tourists. Venice finally banned them. Hopefully, Fowey will do the same.”

Another complained: “Really out of place. I know it’s good for Fowey’s tourism but just looks awful in such a pretty harbour.”