Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Aberdeen Harbour Boss Welcomes Thriving Cruise Season

Aberdeen Harbour is preparing to welcome 10 cruise calls this summer, with four vessels making their first ever visits to the city.

The arrival of Rembrandt van Rijn on May 5, will signal the start of the season. A 168-foot passenger ship, Rembrandt will spend a day berthed at the port, before embarking on an eight-day voyage around the Scottish Isles.

The tour will encompass Copinsey, an uninhabited island nature reserve and home to more than 1,000 pairs of nesting fulmars, Fair Isle in Shetland, the tiny islands of North Rona and Sula Sgeir in the north-west of Scotland, Lewis, St Kilda and Oban.

Other liners to visit the harbour over the summer months will include Noble Caledonia’s Ocean Nova, Caledonian Sky and Clipper Odyssey, the Plancius, Fram and Ortelius.

Ocean Nova will begin its voyage on the East coast, arriving at the harbour in May, before sailing via Orkney and the Shetland Islands to one of Norway’s most stunning areas, Sunnfjord. Passengers will then be treated to three days of exploration around the main island of the Spitsbergen archipelago, with sights including immense glaciers, narrow fjords, and polar bears.

The Ortelius liner, an ice-strengthened vessel primarily used for polar expeditions, is scheduled to arrive in Aberdeen in June. Accommodating up to 100-passengers, she is named after the cartographer of the first modern world atlas.

She will be followed by the luxurious Caledonian Sky, which will arrive in Aberdeen later in the month, before departing for the inner and Outer Hebrides, with destinations including Rum, Tobermoray, the Isle of Skye and Iona. The vessel features extravagant suites with viewing balconies, while passengers will have access to a panoramic observation desk, library and gymnasium. 

Chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour, Colin Parker, said: "The number of cruise calls scheduled for Aberdeen this year is very promising. It highlights both the increasing popularity of cruising, while also reinforcing the attractiveness of Aberdeen as a destination.  

"The port is central to those vessels looking to explore the unique cultures and breathtaking scenery on offer across both the Scottish Islands and beyond. The slight rise is also a reflection of the growing number of cruise operators that are recognising the first class services and facilities on offer at the harbour.

"We look forward to extending a warm welcome to this year’s vessels, including the Rembrandt Van Rijn and Ortelius, which are among those visiting the North-east for the first time."

Aberdeen Harbour works alongside the 14 member ports that make up Cruise Scotland, promoting the country as an attractive cruise ship destination for overseas travellers. The harbour is also a member of Cruise Europe, a long established organisation with similar aims for many European coastal states.