Invergordon welcomes record number of cruise passengers
Invergordon has achieved another first, with the greatest number of passengers ever to arrive in the town on one ship.
On July 26, 3,336 passengers disembarked Costa Cruises’ Costa Magica to explore the destination of Invergordon and Easter Ross as well as the wider Highlands tourist attractions.
The previous record dates back to July 2009, when Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess docked carrying 3,231 passengers.
As the Costa passengers disembarked, they were given a traditional Highland welcome in the form of a piper and the volunteers from the Invergordon Tourism Alliance were on hand, as always, to promote the Easter Ross towns’ sites and attractions.
Over half the passengers were booked on shore excursions, leaving a significant number of passengers to potentially explore the area independently. A Folkloric show, organised by Cruise Highlands, was also held on board the cruiseship.
Captain Iain Dunderdale, cruise development manager Cruise Highlands, commented: “We have been successful in attracting an increased number of vessel calls to the port, thanks to the warm welcome extended locally and our proximity to tourist attractions. Cruise Highlands has worked hard to ensure that the Firth can meet the needs of this growing industry and this has paid off. We are having the strongest year to date. “
While Captain Ken Gray, chief executive and harbour master for Cromarty Firth Port Authority which owns 50% of Cruise Highlands, added: “Tourism through the Firth has been growing year on year. Last year saw 63,000 cruiseship passengers and this all helps to enhance the economy of the Highlands. This year is on target to exceed this.”
It was Costa Magica’s second visit to the Firth this summer with a further visit planned in August. She is one of the largest ships in the Costa Cruises’ fleet.