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Cruise industry growth brings economic benefit to the Highlands

Norwegian Getaway
Norwegian Getaway will be among the larger cruise ships calling this year PHOTO: Norwegian Cruise Line
The Port of Cromarty is experiencing a significant increase in passenger and cruise ship numbers visiting the Highlands.

An anticipated 180,000 passengers will call this year, on 109 ship visits. Last year saw a record for Invergordon with 93 calls and 170,000 passengers. This year’s new record represents a 5% increase in the number of passengers and an almost 15% increase in the number of calls.

£18m for the economy

Cruise passengers are expected to boost the Highland economy by around £18m, contributing to tourist attractions across the region.

The first cruise ship to arrive will again be Astoria, docking on 26 March, carrying 550 passengers. The cruise season will finish on 24 September with 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.

‘This year we will continue to see some of the world’s largest cruise ships coming into the port. This is really good news for businesses across the Highlands.

Ships big and small

‘We are looking forward to welcoming Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Getaway, which carries 4,400 passengers, and Hebridean Island Cruises’ Hebridean Princess, which carries 60 passengers.'

According to Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth, the more than 180,000 cruisers visiting the Highlands this year will play a 'crucial role in supporting the creation of local jobs in a number of areas.’