30th March 2016
Record Number of Cruise Ship Calls for Aberdeen
Aberdeen Harbour is expecting a record-breaking cruise season this summer, with 25 cruise calls taking place. This activity, which represents a 127% increase in cruise activity in the port, compared with last year, reflects a countinued and significant growth in cruise ship activity around Scotland as a whole. Over half a million cruise ship passengers are due to visit Scotland this year, and this reflects a sixth successive year of passenger number increases.
Victor Sandison, Chairman of Cruise Scotland explained, "The continuing growth shows the increasing popularity of Scotland as a destination in a highly competitive global market. This year's estimated passenger count of over 525,000 will take us around half way to the target of 1.1 million passengers per annum by 2029 - a figure identified in a study carried out in 2010, when there were just over 268,000 cruise visitors".
Despite the growth in cruise vessel activity for Aberdeen, the port is still a minor player in the Scottish market, due to its inability to accommodate the deeper draft of the larger cruise ship vessels. "We are really losing out on a market that is literally sailing past us every summer", explained Colin Parker, Chief Executive of the Aberdeen Harbour, "and it is a market that would bring considerable economic benefits to the city and region. We are thrilled to be welcoming over 3,000 passengers to Aberdeen this year, but the expansion of the harbour to allow in the larger cruise vessels is vital if we are all to enjoy the real benefits of this growing market". Colin's comments come in the light of Greenock Ocean Terminal being predicted as becoming the first port in Scotland to welcome over 100,000 passengers in one summer season, whilst other East Coast ports, such as Orkney, are estimating passenger numbers of over 80,000.