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.