Scotland’s ports are preparing for another record-breaking cruise seasons as they saw a seventh best-yet season in 2016, with 676 visits by cruise ships carrying around 484,000 passengers, Cruise Scotland informed.
When compared to the cruise season in 2015, cruise ships’ visits increased by 35% and the number of passengers went up by 5.3%.
“The expectations for next year will mean that since 2010, the organisation’s first full year, ship numbers, passengers and their spend will all have more than doubled,” Andrew Hemphill, Cruise Scotland Chairman, said.
The region’s popularity as a destination is growing as the number of cruise calls and passengers doubled in less than a decade.
There are currently 808 ships, including more large vessels, booked to call in 2017, up 19.5% on 2016, with an anticipated 35%-plus jump in the number of passengers to around 656,000. Furthermore, a number of cruise lines are returning with more calls next year.
Next year’s season is expected to mean that, in the 2010-2017 period, cruise ship arrivals will have increased 119% from 342 to 808 calls and passenger numbers will have increased 144% from 268,481 to 656,510, according to Cruise Scotland.
Cruise Scotland organization includes the ports of Glasgow (Greenock,) Holy Loch Port, Oban, Portree, Stornoway, Ullapool, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Scrabster, Invergordon, Inverness, Peterhead, Aberdeen, Montrose, Dundee and Edinburgh, as well as two Ground Handling Agents and five additional members from the service sector.