“We are expecting 91 calls and about 142,330 passengers this year in Invergordon. Both of these are records and represent growth of 44 percent and 45 percent, respectively over last year’s figures, which in turn were records,” said Captain Iain Dunderdale, cruise manager for Invergordon (Port of Cromarty Firth).
“That is leading the way in Scotland,” Dunderdale told Cruise Industry News.
“We already have bookings for more calls in 2018 than in 2017, and passenger numbers will be greater than 150,000,” he noted.
And new calls are filling the books. In 2017, first-time visitors include the MSC Preziosa, Columbus, Hamburg, Seabourn Quest, Europa 2 and Thomson Celebration. Next year the port will get its first calls from Viking Cruises, with the Viking Sun and Sky already on the schedule.
This year the port organized a workshop for local stakeholders and suppliers to help educate them on the cruise industry.
“The Port has also established a cruise stakeholder group to help develop the exciting new expansion plans Invergordon is looking at for cruise,” said Dunderdale.
Not only are ships getting bigger, but the season is being extended, and is set to close this December, later than ever, with a call by Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch.
Among other upgrades: new high-capacity bollards, and enhancements to the port’s fresh water delivery system.
A new cruise berth is in planning stages and completion is set for 2020. The berth will be able to handle Oasis-class ships.