A record year for cruise activity at Invergordon
Invergordon has seen a record 53 cruise vessels visit this year, as the final liner of the season M.V. Boudicca of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines visits the port this week.
The number of calls to the Port of Invergordon has seen a 15% rise on last year’s 46 and the number of cruise passengers visiting the port has increased by 29% from 48,788 to 63,008. Tonnage is up by 25% to 2.34 million gross tons, in comparison to last year’s previous record.
These passengers and an additional 20,000 crew members, have directly benefitted the Highland economy, visiting attractions such as Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle, Dunrobin Castle, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Glenmorangie Distillery, Wildlife & Photography Expeditions and many more.
Cruise liners contribute in excess of £7million to the Highland economy each year.
Carrying 817 predominately British passengers, Boudicca is the fourth call by a Fred. Olsen liner this year with other calls by Braemar and Balmoral, which visited the port twice, since the season started in May.
The 28,388 gross ton Boudicca was originally known as the famous Royal Viking Sky built for Royal Viking Line in 1973.
She started her latest voyage at Newcastle before calling at Portland, Dorset; St Peter Port, Guernsey; Milford Haven, Wales; Dublin, Tobermory, Mull before calling at Invergordon and returning to Newcastle.
The largest cruise vessel to call at Invergordon this year was the 113,561 gross ton Crown Princess, which called four times, carrying up to 3,220 passengers each time.
One “old timer” making a final call at the port was 44 year old cruise ship Mona Lisa, which visited Invergordon on 4th of August and was recently withdrawn from international service as of the 1st of October.
Already bookings at Invergordon for 2011 are looking very healthy, with over 50 cruise liner visits confirmed, with an expected 14% increase in tonnage and passenger numbers are anticipated to rise by 20%.
Captain Iain Dunderdale, cruise development manager for Cruise Highlands Ltd, the CFPA joint venture cruise marketing arm, said: “We are delighted to see the level of cruise activity has increased and we are looking forward to another successful year in 2011.
“I would like to pay tribute to the volunteers of the Invergordon Tourism Alliance, who have welcomed all these passengers and crew to Invergordon and the Highlands, and to all the other people who have made this such an outstandingly successful cruise season for Invergordon.”