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

Another record cruise season for Scottish Ports

On course for a million passengers a year

Scottish ports are on course to welcome a million cruise passengers annually years ahead of original expectations after another record season in 2018 when a fleet of 825 cruise ships brought 794,577 passengers to destinations around the country.

Expenditure is estimated at £109.6 million, with the sector providing 1,139 fulltime equivalent jobs and £28.8 million in employee earnings.

Established in 2008 – a year when 377 ships and around 202,000 passengers arrived –Cruise Scotland’s membership includes 17 ports, two major ground handlers, and six associate members in the tourism sector.

Cruise Scotland Chair, Rob Mason, said: “It’s been another remarkable cruise season, with the trend in growth continuing – vessel arrivals were up 8.4% and passengers by 16.75% compared with 2017.  Everyone involved in the success – directly through the ports and in the wide-reaching service sector – deserves a big vote of thanks for their support.

“We are committed to building on the achievements of the past decade by attracting more cruise ships and increasing the contributions to the Scottish economy.”

Based on current bookings, 912 vessels are heading for Scottish ports next year, an increase of 10.5% on 2018, with passenger numbers expected to be up 15.8% at more than 920,000,

A study commissioned by Cruise Scotland in 2010, when 248,923 visitors arrived, forecast almost 830,000 passengers by 2025.

Mr Mason, Forth Ports’ Head of Cruise for Capital Cruising in Scotland, said: “We will pass that figure in 2019. The million passenger potential was identified for 2029, requiring more than quadrupling the-then footfall, but growth has exceeded all our expectations and it should be achievable in the next few years if the expected trends continue in a competitive, global industry.”

To mark the success of the 2018 season and the organisation’s tenth anniversary, Cruise Scotland, hosted a VIP dinner at Edinburgh Castle in partnership with national agencies, Transport Scotland and Visit Scotland, and joined by Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP, and representatives of a wide range of cruise operators. Cruise Scotland’s annual summit was held the following day at Transport Scotland’s offices at Victoria Quay, Leith.