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’s record week in a record year

Seven ships and 9,000 passengers arrive in next seven days

Greenock Ocean Terminal’s cruise operation is enjoying a record year, with 36 ships booked to call, bringing 52,570 passengers – up a quarter on 2009 and two thirds on 2007.

But even in a busy season, the next week starting today (Monday) stands out as something special – with seven ships calling at Greenock, carrying 9,000 passengers keen to spend their holiday money on day trips to such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Loch Lomond, or to whisky distilleries and golf courses.

The Ocean Terminal’s £250,000 cruise facility – which opened last summer - is looking forward this week to welcoming the giant 3,200 passenger Crown Princess, the 1,916 passenger Westerdam and the 1,774 capacity Ocean Countess, as well as the more intimate vessels Saga Ruby, Minerva, Amadea and The World.

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.

Greenock Ocean Terminal is fast becoming an important cruise port vital to Scottish tourism as a gateway for overseas visitors. Last year it saw the highly-publicised first visit of the new superliner Queen Mary 2 and the last-ever visit of the QE2. This year the new Cunard liner Queen Victoria arrived for the first time.

Many of passengers coming to Greenock this week will disembark for a bus-tour experience of Scotland. However a substantial number spend money in Greenock, as do crews taking advantage of shore leave, and it is estimated that the cruise business now brings over £2m a year into the Inverclyde economy.

Andrew Hemphill, Clydeport's General Manager at Ocean Terminal, said: "Year on year we are building the cruise business at Greenock, and 2010 is the best to date. Breaking the 50,000 passenger barrier for the first time is a fantastic achievement, and testament to the efforts that have been made to improve the experience of overseas visitors arriving at Greenock. However this coming week is exceptional, and we are looking forward to our busiest-ever seven days.

“We believe the number of ships now calling is testament to the improvements we have been carrying out year on year. Last summer’s upgrade has had a major visual effect on our arrivals hall, which until now has been essentially a modified port shed. We are delighted the Greenock experience has been enhanced, along with the help the Inverclyde Tourist Group adds, giving a positive impression both of our town and our country.”

Clydeport is a member of Cruise Scotland, the organisation formed by some of the leading Scottish ports to promote cruising last March at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami Exhibition to promote and market the country's ports and many visitor attractions internationally.