Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Record year for cruise activity at Cromarty Firth Port Authority

A record number of cruise passengers visiting Invergordon has led to a boost in excess of £7million to the Highland economy for this year.

This cruise season, which started in May has seen 46 cruise liners calling at Invergordon, bringing a total of 48,787 passengers to the area. This compares to the 48,098 passengers last year and 52 cruise liners visiting the Port.

And with an expected 48 cruise liners visiting Invergordon in 2010, early indications for next year suggest a 20% increase in passenger numbers and gross tonnage.

Last Friday (25th September), the 20,080 tonne Marco Polo, carrying 600 passengers, visited the port for one day as part of her 10 day cruise, to mark the end of a record season for passengers visiting Invergordon.

Highlights of the year included a maiden call from the 113,651 gross tonne Crown Princess, which on one of her calls brought 3,231 tourists, the largest number of passengers from a single cruise liner to visit Invergordon. The vessel visited another three times during the season.

Captain Iain Dunderdale, cruise development manager for Cruise Highlands Ltd., cruise liner marketing arm of Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA), said: “While the number of vessels calling at Invergordon was slightly less than last year, the growth in size of cruise liners means they are bringing ever more passengers to the area and that trend is set to continue into 2010.

“In these difficult times, it is fantastic to see a significant boost to the local economy, highlighting the importance of the large cruise business. Current indications suggest that the increase in passenger numbers next year will further benefit the Highland economy from Caithness to Speyside and Wester Ross to Morayshire.”

Cruising remains the fastest growing sector of the leisure/holiday market, and in recent years Scotland has attracted a 46% share of the UK Port of Call cruise traffic. The Port of Invergordon is a leading member of Cruise Scotland, which was formed earlier this year.