A record number of cruise liners are now visiting Scotland, giving the country a massive, multi-million pound boost to their economy. A whopping 368 ships have visited Scotland in 2010, bringing over 270,000 passengers with them. The value of cruise tourism is now estimated to be in the region of around £34 million.
The port with the highest amount of ship visits is Kirkwall, with 72 ships choosing to call here. However, the port which has had the largest amount of passengers visiting is Invergordon. A staggering 63,008 passengers have visited Invergordon in 2010 so far.
This week, the last liner of the season will be arriving at Invergordon, and it will be the 53rd ship to have visited this port. This means that there has been a 15% rise in visits to the East Ross Port year on year.
Attractions such as Loch Ness, Cawdor Castle and Dunrobin Castle have benefitted directly from this surge in cruise passengers visiting the region, with tourist numbers up at the majority of tourist attractions in the area.
Booking for cruises visiting Scotland in 2011 are already looking healthy, and already, over 50 cruise lines have confirmed that they will be visiting and that passenger numbers will be up. It is expected that they could rise by around 20%.
For many, Scotland might not be the first place they think of when they imagine their dream cruise but they shouldn’t rule it out! Despite the somewhat tempestuous weather, it has some of the most beautiful scenery and surroundings in the world, a unique culture, vibrant cities, and an amazing history.