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Scottish ports predict record number of cruise calls

PHOTO: PETER DEVLIN forth-ports-cruise-Ambition-arriving-dundee.jpg
Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambition arriving into Dundee during the 2023 cruise season
The busiest season ever for Forth Ports’ Capital Cruising business gets underway this month. 

A record 161 cruise calls are booked for this season carrying an estimated 235,000 passengers who will be visiting Edinburgh, Fife and Dundee in 2024.

The cruise season in Scotland traditionally runs between April and October. 

93% growth in Scotland

Capital Cruising received 149 vessels in 2023, sailing into the Ports of Leith, Rosyth and Dundee, as well as to deep water anchorages in the River Forth for Newhaven and South Queensferry. 

‘...Cruise is an important contributor to our local and national economy,’ explained head of cruise at Forth Ports, Rob Mason. ‘Over the past decade, there has been an incredible 93% growth in the attraction of cruise in Scotland with an expected one million passengers calling into Scotland’s ports, generating an incredible £130m for the country’s economy.’ 

Mason went on to say that ‘91% of cruise passengers repeat a cruise with 60% returning to a destination. We are working hard with the city, destination partners, communities and the wider cruise industry to meet the industry's challenges and deliver another successful cruise season.’  


Dundee is seeing further growth in cruise, with 16 calls booked for 2024. Their season starts on April 27 with the arrival of Seaborne Venture. 

In 2023, the port welcomed 14 cruise vessels while in 2022 it received four.


Significant work is being carried out to enhance sustainability at Edinburgh. EZ Bike Tours, located next to the port in Newhaven, provides environmentally friendly electric bike tours of the city as a shore excursion. The launch of the Edinburgh Trams network extension last year will grant passengers easy access to the city using the tram stops in Newhaven and at the Port of Leith.

Forth Ports aims to be carbon neutral by 2032 and net zero by 2042. Action is underway to achieve these aims, and last year, the Port of Leith became the first large mainland commercial port in Scotland to offer shore power.

TAGS: Scotland