Port in line for cruise ship record
Aberdeen Harbour welcomes its first cruise vessel tomorrow as it prepares for a record-breaking season with 12 visits expected this summer.
The Island Sky will arrive for the first of three visits as she tours the Scottish Islands and Scandinavia over the summer. Many of the cruises this year will start and end in the Granite City, with Aberdeen becoming a common cruise embarkation point. Other ships visiting the harbour over the summer will include returning vessels the Fram and the Plancius, as well as first-time visitor Ortelius. Ortelius, an ice-strengthed vessel primarily used for polar expeditions, is due to arrive in the harbour early next month.
Among the most spectacular of all the vessels calling this year will be the Sea Cloud II due to provide a fitting end to the season when she arrives in July.
Aberdeen Harbour Board chief executive Colin Parker said: “The number of cruise calls and the fact it will be a record year for Aberdeen in 2013 is very promising”. Aberdeen Harbour enjoyed its busiest year yet in 2012, with record levels of ship activity and cargo. Vessel tonnage was nearly 28.2 million tonnes last year and the port handled 5.1 million tonnes of cargo, both representing and 8% year on year increase.
The harbour’s record 12 months meant annual turnover was up to 13% to £27.4 million and retained profits jumped to £7.5 million, up from £2.1 million in 2011. Pre-tax profits rose to £10.5 million from £10.4 million previously. Activity at the port generates more than £420 million for the region’s economy every year.