Another Record-Breaking Year for Cruise in the Port of Cromarty Firth
More than 180,000 passengers will come into the Port this year, on 109 cruise ships. Last year set a record for Invergordon with 93 ships and 170,000 passengers. This year’s new record equates to a 5% increase in the number of passengers and almost 15% increase in the number of ships.
These cruise passengers will boost the Highland economy by around £18 million, contributing to tourist attractions across the region, including Cawdor Castle, Royal Dornoch Golf Club, Jacobite Cruises, Glenmorangie Distillery, Inverness and the Strathspey Steam Railway.
The industry continues to help Invergordon become a tourist destination in its own right, with Invergordon Museum, the town’s famous murals and its thriving arts and crafts scene. The town is also a base for the 68,000 crew that will be visiting the Highlands on these ships.
The first cruise ship to arrive will again be the ‘Astoria’, docking on 26 March, carrying 550 passengers. The cruise season will finish on 24 September with the ‘Seabourn Ovation’ carrying 600 passengers.
Allison McGuire, Cruise Manager, Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “We have seen a steady increase in the number of cruise passengers visiting Invergordon over the years and 2019 will be no exception.
“This year we will continue to see some of the world’s largest cruise ships coming into the Port, taking advantage of the deep water and incredible attractions we have to offer. This is really good news for businesses across the Highlands and I look forward to welcoming new and returning vessels into the Port over the coming months.
“We are looking forward to welcoming a variety of ships, big and small, including Norwegian Cruise Lines’ ‘Norwegian Getaway‘, which carries 4,400 passengers and Hebridean Island Cruises’ ‘Hebridean Princess’ which carries just 60 passengers.”
Bob Buskie, Chief Executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, said: “These ships will bring more than 180,000 tourists to the Highlands this year, playing a crucial role in supporting the creation of local 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.”
“This year, we also have plans to create a Facebook page to promote local businesses and to create a sustainable partnership approach to keeping this business in the Highlands for years to come.”