Kirkwall named runner up in international Port of the Year award
Kirkwall in Orkney has been named runner up in the Port of the Year category at the recent global Seatrade Insider Cruise Awards 2013.
The port was shortlisted against Port Everglades in Miami, which secured first place, and Port Toulon in France, which was placed third.
The winners were announced during the Seatrade Europe Cruise & River Cruise Convention in Hamburg, Germany on 24 September.
Commenting on the award, Chair of Orkney Islands Council's Infrastructure and Development Committee, Councillor James Stockan, said: “This is an exceptional achievement for a small port - to have been considered alongside massive destination ports for such a prestigious award and to be runner up.
“This is a worldwide award and we were the only UK Port in the final short list.
“I’d like to applaud the work of the Council’s team and all the partners and tourism operators involved who make sure Orkney and Kirkwall puts on such a good welcome for every cruise ship visit.”
Michael Morrison, Business Development Manager for Orkney Islands Council’s Marine Services was at the awards ceremony and able to proudly display the award certificate on the Cruise Scotland stand at the Seatrade Exhibition. He said: “To come runner up in a global award at this level is brilliant – and is testimony to the passion and commitment of the team who deliver cruise ship services in Orkney.
“The feedback from cruise lines is that the customer service ratings or port calls into Orkney are better than for any other UK port. That is something we must strive to maintain and improve in the years ahead.”
The Port of the Year category is specified as ‘A Port Authority / Port Management Company which has made significant improvements to its handling facilities / cruise – tourism infrastructure over the past 12 months.
The award is judged by a panel of 16 persons from throughout the industry world-wide.
Orkney received 73 visits by cruise ships carrying around 60,000 passengers during 2013.
Seventy three visits are already booked for 2014 by ships which will bring around 64,000 passengers to Orkney. Fifteen cruise ships have also booked for 2015 and there are already some bookings for 2016.