Greenock on track to become first Scots port to welcome 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.
A total of 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.
In 2007 just 20,253 passengers passed through the port compared to 92,678 in 2014.
At the same time the number of cruise ships calling at Greenock has trebled from 19 in 2007 to 56 ships planned for this year.
The Cruise Terminal at Greenock Ocean Terminal is looking forward to welcoming visits from popular ships such as the giant 4,610 passenger ships The Royal Princess and The Regal Princess. The illustrious Queen Mary II liner will also call at Greenock as part of Cunard’s 175 year anniversary celebrations, reinforcing the terminals close historical links with the iconic cruise operator.
Recent significant investment in the Cruise Terminal at Greenock, which launched in 2009 has been crucial to its success, helping to create an award winning, welcoming and comfortable environment for passengers – the first experience thousands of overseas cruise passengers have of Scotland each year.
The terminal works in partnership with the Inverclyde Tourist Group (ITG) who act 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.
Other features such as the ‘Weather Forecasting Stone’ and the ‘Great Wall of Greenock’ a wishing well which is used to raise money for local charities have gone down well with visitors and have contributed to the location’s growing popularity.
Andrew Hemphill, Peel Ports’ general manager at Greenock Ocean Terminal, said:
“Year on year we are building the cruise business at Greenock and 2015 will be our best year to date. 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.
Greenock is also ideally placed for both visitors and Scottish passengers wishing to travel from a local port, meaning that holidays can start right outside their doorstep.
A great deal of our success can be attributed to the fact that from the moment passengers arrive we try to provide a memorable experience.”
This year will see the first ever direct sailing from Scotland to the Caribbean, with cruise operator Fred. Olsen.
Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“This very special Caribbean ‘island-hopping adventure’ 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.
This ‘Caribbean from Scotland’ cruise has been met with huge popularity amongst our Scottish guests, and is fast becoming one of our best-sellers.
At Fred. Olsen we always look forward to our season in Greenock. The co-operation and support from the port is excellent.”
Greenock is fast becoming an important cruise port vital to Scottish tourism as a gateway for overseas visitors. Many of passengers coming to 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 do spend money in Greenock, as do crews taking advantage of shore leave. Based on conservative estimates each passenger contributes £80 to the local economy and the 25,000 crew members that pass through also spend a considerable amount in the local area. If Greenock Cruise Terminal achieves the projected 108,866 visitors this year, it will bring and estimated £8.7 million for the local economy.
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