Invergordon crowned Scotland’s busiest cruise port in 2016
The Port of Cromarty Firth, Invergordon has welcomed more passengers from cruise liners in 2016 than any other port in Scotland.
A total of 97,993 passengers visited the Highlands this year through the port in Invergordon, the highest number on record. This was a 9 per cent increase on the past year and a 134 per cent increase over the past ten years.
In 2016, there was a direct spend by these passengers of nearly £10m in the local area and across the Highlands. This provided an income boost to a range of attractions and destinations, from Castle of Mey, Glenmorangie and Inverness, to Castle Stuart, Urquhart Castle and Strathspey Steam Railway
The Port of Cromarty Firth also welcomed its 1000th cruise liner, Holland-America Line’s new MS Koningsdam, as well as two calls from the Disney Cruise Line, as part of their new round-Britain cruise.
2016 also brought the announcement of a proposed £25m investment in the development of a new berth specifically designed to accommodate the needs of tourists and the larger ships coming into Invergordon. This is part of the Port’s wider plan to attract more cruise ships to the region and provide their guests with improved welcome facilities.
Captain Dunderdale, Cruise Development Manager, Cruise Highlands Ltd, said: “Being the port with the highest number of passengers in Scotland in 2016 is a fabulous achievement and rounds off a remarkable year. We were able to welcome over 20 per cent of Scotland's 484,847 passengers this year. Worldwide, the cruise sector is the fastest growing area of travel and, for the tourist industry in the Highlands to continue to thrive, it is essential that ports like Invergordon are ready to welcome them. We are working with tour operators and tourist destinations to ensure that visitors to the Highlands have the best possible experience.”
Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “As a deepwater port that is in close proximity to many of the Highlands’ most beautiful and historical locations, the Port of Cromarty Firth is the ideal location to grow and develop cruise tourism in Scotland.
“There are 73 new cruise liners currently being built throughout the world, many of which will accommodate more than 5000 passengers. The Port of Cromarty Firth is one of only three ports in Scotland that can accommodate ships of this size and, with more of them being built, it is essential for us to be able to receive them. Our investment and development plans will allow the Port to continue to introduce more people to the beauty and history of the Highlands.”