The news that American cruise ship passengers have chosen Greenock as their favourite UK port is a real feather in Scotland’s cap.
The USA has long been the dominate source of cruise passengers, with more than 11million Americans taking cruises in 2013 – almost ten times the number of cruise passengers who originate from the UK or Germany.
More than 800 passengers from the U.S were surveyed by Cruise Critic, one of the industry’s leading online cruise sites, which shares people’s travel experiences with an audience of thousands. Almost 40 percent of those surveyed chose Greenock as their number one port of choice, ahead of Southampton (24.84%), Liverpool (22.41%) and Dover (14.08%).
Local newspaper the Greenock Telegraph (LINK TO ARTICLE) spoke to some of the passengers arriving at Greenock, who said that the areas natural beauty and links to some of Scotland’s key tourist destinations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Highlands, all make for an enjoyable port of call. The sights and attractions of Greenock town itself were also named as reasons for selecting the port.
The good news comes as part of a record breaking year for Greenock as we get set to become the first Scottish Port to welcome more than 100,000 passengers in a single year – signs that the cruise business in Greenock is growing year on year.
Over the last few years, all eyes have been on Scotland, playing host to some of the world’s greatest sporting events such as the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, attracting hundreds and thousands of visitors between tem, many arriving via Greenock Cruise terminal.
Not only are we attracting more passengers every year, but we are also securing visits from some of the world’s most luxurious cruise liners. These include the Britannia which will call at the port this weekend, as well as the Queen Mary 2 which visited as part of Cunard’s 175th anniversary celebrations earlier in the year.
Testament to the success of Greenock is the efforts which have been made to enhance the experience of overseas visitors arriving in Scotland. Significant investment in the cruise terminal has helped to create an award-winning, welcoming and comfortable environment for passengers – the first experience thousands of overseas visitors have of Scotland every year.
We have a close working partnership with the Inverclyde Tourist Group (ITG) which act as ambassadors for the local area, greeting passengers as they arrive and offering a source of vital information for tourists.
And who could forget our friendly tartan-clad terminal mascot Hamish who adds to the memorable Greenock experience?
The benefit of this investment at Greenock has a positive knock on effect for the local economy, as a substantial number of passengers spend money in Greenock, as do crews taking advantage of shore leave.
It is estimated that each passenger contributes around £80 to the local economy. If we achieve the projected 108,866 visitors this year, then Greenock could bring an estimated £8.7million to the local economy.
Year on year we are building the cruise business on the Clyde and thanks to the success of Greenock we are continuing to raise awareness and increase people’s interest in taking a cruise to Scotland. The fact that passengers from the world’s largest cruise market prefer Greenock is an indication that the cruise market in Scotland should remain strong in future years.
We look forward to welcoming even more passengers to Greenock in the years to come and hop to retain our title as the number one port of call.
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