Invergordon is ready to welcome record numbers

Monday, April 18, 2022 - 11:15 by ce-press

The Port of Cromarty Firth is looking forward to another record-breaking year. In the first full season since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, 115 vessels, carrying around 200,000 passengers, are scheduled to call at Invergordon. This compares to 103 and 167,000 in 2019, the last full season prior to the pandemic.

Port of Cromarty Forth, cruise manager, Alison McGuire, says: “It’s very exciting to once again be looking forward to a full and busy cruise season here. Up until 2020, we had seen a steady increase in the number of cruise passengers visiting Invergordon and it’s good to see a return to that after two highly challenging years for the industry and the many businesses that benefit from it.”

The cruise industry has been estimated to contribute approximately £18million-a-year to the Highland economy and its return will bring a welcome boost to tourist attractions and other businesses across the Highlands that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Bob Buskie, chief executive Port of Cromarty Firth, adds: “After everything that has happened over the past couple of years, it’s fantastic to be anticipating a record-breaking cruise season on the Cromarty Firth again.

“These ships will bring around 200,000 tourists from the UK and around the world to the Highlands this year, playing a crucial role in creating and supporting jobs in a number of areas, including: tour guides, shipping agents, ground handling staff, transport providers, pipers and the employees of local distilleries, golf clubs and the hospitality industry.”

The 2022 season began on April 5 with the arrival of the Viking Venus, carrying 900 passengers and 460 crew. She is one of 21 new vessels due to make maiden calls at the Easter Ross port during the year.

Monday July 25 is expected to be the busiest day of the season, with three ships calling on the same day for the first time: Mein Schiff 3, Ocean Odyssey and the AIDAsol will bring a combined total of nearly 5,000 passengers and around 1,600 crew to the area.

The season will be longer than in previous years, drawing to a close on October 9, when Norwegian Dawn is scheduled to visit.

As part of measures to alleviate traffic congestion in Invergordon, work is currently under way on two new lay-bys on Shore Road for coach pick-ups and drop-offs when liners are visiting. A pedestrian crossing has also been installed at the entrance to the Port.
Invergordon is ready to welcome record numbers
Anthem of the Seas calls Invergordon (c) Port of Cromarty Firth

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