HRH The Princess Royal visits Greenock Ocean Terminal Visitor Centre

14 March 2024

HRH The Princess Royal visits Greenock Ocean Terminal Visitor Centre.

The Princess Royal was given a warm Inverclyde welcome as she visited the new Greenock Ocean Terminal Visitor Centre just six months after it was officially opened.

During her visit, The Princess Royal met officials from Inverclyde Council involved in delivering the project, staff from the port’s operator Peel Ports Clydeport, volunteers with the Inverclyde Tourist Group, members of the board of the George Wyllie Trust and staff from Scotts Greenock restaurant.

She also met Minister Donald Cameron, a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, representing the UK government which, along with the Scottish Government, provided the funding for the project though the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

She had earlier enjoyed a special reception on the MV Hebridean Princess, which was docked in the nearby Port of Greenock and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

After leaving the MV Hebridean Princess, The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, walked along the waterfront before receiving a tour of the pontoon which was created as part of the £20.1 million project.

The pontoon enabled Ocean Terminal to welcome cruise ships with freight traffic now dedicated to the Port of Greenock, the former Ocean Terminal dock, and was a vital part of the overall development.

She was then welcomed to the visitor centre before receiving a tour and meeting council staff and officials who were involved in the multi-agency development as well as staff from Peel Ports Clydeport – which has contributed £8m to the recent wider renovation works at the terminal.

Volunteers from the Inverclyde Tourist Group also spent time chatting to The Princess Royal.

The dedicated group, which received a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2013, greets passengers arriving off cruise ships and offers tours and information on the best way to discover Inverclyde and beyond.

Provost of Inverclyde Drew McKenzie said: “I was delighted to welcome The Princess Royal to Greenock Ocean Terminal Visitor Centre.

“Even though it was a cloudy Scottish day, the wonderful coastline of Inverclyde speaks for itself and Greenock Ocean Terminal visitor centre is one of the best places to view it.

“This project was a fine example of partnership working and that continues with various businesses and interests all involved in the running of the building.

“I am sure I speak for many in Inverclyde who are looking forward to the return of the splendid cruise ships to Greenock and this Royal visit was a wonderful way to get ready for another bumper season.”

It is estimated the development will provide a £26million boost to the Scottish economy.

The aim of the development was to increase visitor numbers to 150,000 passengers a year and that has already been surpassed.

Jim McSporran, port director at Peel Ports Clydeport, said: “It’s been a real honour to welcome the Princess Royal to Greenock today and to showcase some of our facilities, as well as share with her our ambitious plans for the future at the port.

“It’s been a really special day, and vessels don’t get much more impressive than the MV Hebridean Princess, so it was great to mark the 60th anniversary of the ship with such an event.

“We’re expecting another strong year for cruise numbers, building on last year’s record numbers, as we continue to look to grow tourist numbers to the terminal in the years ahead.”

Greenock Ocean Terminal’s new visitor centre was officially opened in August last year and is getting ready for a full cruise ship season, which officially starts in April.