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May 12th 2024

One of Scotland’s major cruise ports is gearing up for another bumper cruise season following the launch of its new £20m visitor centre.

Greenock Ocean Terminal and the River Clyde will welcome 79 cruise liners, carrying up to 115,000 passengers throughout 2024, with early bookings for 2025 already heading towards a new record for the port.

The cruise port welcomed its first big vessel of the season on Friday, with the huge Regal Princess, capable of carrying 3560 passengers, visiting the town.

Vessels arriving at the port across the year will weigh a combined 500,000 tonnes and collectively span more than 16,000 metres.

The level of anticipated visits shows the state-of-the-art visitor centre is already providing a return on investment; launched in August last year, it has led to the creation of more than 70 jobs and is expected to boost the Scottish economy by £26m.

Jim McSporran, Port Director at Peel Ports Clydeport said: “We’re looking forward to another busy cruise season at Greenock Ocean Terminal, the first since our new visitor centre was launched.

“The impressive centre is not only a superb facility for cruise passengers, but it also enhances our ability to attract these fantastic vessels to Inverclyde from all over the world, which has a positive impact on local businesses and Scotland’s broader economy.”

Among the many cruise ships arriving at Greenock Ocean Terminal this year is Cunard’s major new vessel, Queen Anne, a majestic 322 metre ship which will arrive into Greenock on 1 June during its maiden voyage.

Other major liners set to visit the Terminal include the Regal Princess, Disney Dream, and Celebrity Apex, with the ships, including the Queen Anne, carrying more than 14,000 passengers between them.

The new dedicated visitor centre features a museum paying tribute to the renowned late artist George Wyllie, a restaurant and roof terrace with stunning views of the River Clyde, as well as a purpose-built arrivals and departures hall.

The project, which was led by Inverclyde Council, was part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal funded by the Scottish and UK governments, with contributions from Peel Ports (£8m), operator of Greenock Ocean Terminal, and the George Wyllie Foundation (£1.7m).

Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “Inverclyde’s cruise tourism sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and we’re delighted it’s going to be another busy year at Greenock Ocean Terminal with some really impressive liners arriving.

“Visitors can expect an outstanding experience, with the Terminal’s new visitor centre providing a first-class welcome.”

The cruise numbers for 2024 build upon the success of 2023 which saw the Terminal’s busiest year since records began, with the Terminal welcoming 91 vessels.

Located on the Firth of Clyde, the west-facing freight port has been at the heart of Scotland’s shipping industry since 1876, with its container terminal officially opening in 1969