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

Greenock Cruise Terminal looks forward to record year in 2011

Greenock Ocean Terminal’s 2011 cruise season will be its busiest yet, with 36 ships already booked to call there, bringing 53,933 passengers – up on last year.

The Ocean Terminal’s cruise facility, on which £250,000 has been invested, is looking forward to welcoming 11 new ships such as Cunard’s brand new Queen Elizabeth and P&O’s Adonia for the first time - as well as hosting repeat visits from some familiar faces such as the giant 3,000-passenger Grand Princess and the QM2.

The terminal is also building a reputation as a starting point for cruises, with a total of 8,414 passengers embarking next year on 12 cruises organised by operators Hebridean Cruises, Nova Cruising, The National Trust and Fred. Olsen.

Owner Clydeport is a member of Cruise Scotland, the organisation set up to promote and market the country's ports internationally.

This month saw the launch at the Scottish Parliament of the study Cruise Tourism in Scotland – The Way Ahead, commissioned by Cruise Scotland, which shows that the domestic cruise industry has the potential to more than quadruple visitor numbers to almost 1.1 million, increase direct expenditure to £156.7m and employ 2,500 people by 2029.

Andrew Hemphill, Clydeport's General Manager at Ocean Terminal, said: "The Cruise Scotland report clearly shows the massive potential of the industry, and year on year we have been building the cruise business at Greenock, with 2011 the best to date. Last year we broke the 50,000 passenger barrier for the first time, which was a fantastic achievement, and it is testament to the efforts that have been made to improve the experience of overseas visitors arriving at Greenock that we have again significantly upped our figures.

“Greenock is ideally placed for Scots passengers wishing to leave from a local port, as can be seen by the number of major operators using us as an embarkation point. Instead of having to travel long distances south to English ports, your holiday can start just after you leave home.”

Greenock is fast becoming an important cruise port vital to Scottish tourism as a gateway for overseas visitors. This year it saw the highly-publicised first visit of the new Cunard ship Queen Victoria in July.

The cruise facility is key to the increased success of the terminal, and Clydeport, Riverside Inverclyde and Inverclyde Council jointly funded the partnership project that has vastly improved both the appearance and functionality of the arrivals hall - the first experience thousands of overseas cruise passengers every year have of Scotland.

Many of passengers coming to Greenock will disembark for an experience of Scotland, including tours to Glasgow, Loch Lomond and as far afield as Stirling and. Edinburgh. However a substantial number spend money in Greenock, as do the crew, taking advantage of shore leave, and it is estimated that the cruise business now brings over £2m a year into the Inverclyde economy.