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Greenock on track to be first Scots port with 100,000 passengers a year

Greenock on track to be first Scots port with 100,000 passengers a year
Greenock Ocean Terminal’s 2015 cruise season will not only be its busiest ever, but will also be a record breaker, as it becomes the first Scottish port to break the 100,000 passenger ceiling.

56 ships are expected to call at the port in 2015, bringing 108,866 passengers to Greenock, a 14% increase on last year.

Over the past eight years passenger numbers calling at Greenock have more than quadrupled.

Regulars include Royal Princess and Regal Princess. Queen Mary 2 will also call at Greenock as part of Cunard’s 175 year anniversary celebrations.

The terminal works in partnership with the Inverclyde Tourist Group which acts as ambassadors for the local area, greeting passengers as they arrive and offering a source of vital information for tourists.

Passengers are also greeted with the sounds of traditional Scottish bag pipes and by Hamish a tartan-clad mascot.

Andrew Hemphill, Peel Ports’ general manager at Greenock Ocean Terminal and vice chair of Cruise Scotland’s management committee, said: “’ Breaking the 100,000 passenger barrier for the first time is a fantastic achievement and testament to the efforts which have been made to enhance the experience of overseas visitors arriving at Greenock.

This year will see the first ever direct sailing from Scotland to the Caribbean, with Fred. Olsen's Black Watch departing on a 32 night sailing in November, 2015.

Nathan Philpot, sales and marketing director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘This Caribbean cruise offers our valued guests in Scotland the chance to travel further afield on a sunshine, ex-UK holiday, without having the hassle of flying. Not only is Fred. Olsen embarking on its first-ever sailing from Scotland to the Caribbean, but we are also the first cruise line ever to do so.’

Philpot remarked, ‘it is fast becoming one of our best-sellers.’

The co-operation and support from the port is excellent, he added.

Many of passengers visiting Greenock will disembark for an experience of Scotland, including bus tours to Glasgow, Loch Lomond and as far afield as Stirling and Edinburgh.

However, a substantial number of passengers and crew spend money locally too. Based on conservative estimates each passenger contributes £80 to the local economy also supplemented by the 25,000 visiting crew members. If Greenock Cruise Terminal achieves the projected 108,866 visitors this year, it will bring and estimated £8.7m for the local economy, remarked Hemphill.