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Cruise Passenger Numbers up 20% for Invergordon Port 17/04/2013
 Last week the Port of Invergordon welcomed the first cruise ship of the 2013 season in what is predicted to be another record breaking year for the region, with a 20% increase in passenger numbers on the previous season’s figures expected.

On Tuesday 9th April, the Marco Polo was the first of the 65 cruise ships due to visit between April and September this year, bringing almost 94,000 passengers. 

This season will also see 8 maiden calls to the port of Invergordon, including the first visit to our shores by a Spanish cruise line; with the Grand Mistral due to come alongside 6 times this year.  The Port will also welcome back the Queen Mary 2, who returns to the Cromarty Firth after an absence of 8 years on the 19th May.  

Such a large increase in predicted passenger numbers is indicative of the growing industry trend for larger cruise ships.  The Port of Invergordon has been able to capitalise on this trend thanks to its depth of water and 24 hour access.

Captain Ken Gray, Chief Executive and Harbour Master at the Cromarty Firth Port Authority, welcomes the growth in the cruise sector, commenting “We estimate that in 2012 the cruise sector generated approximately £15million in direct and indirect spend for the local economy, which is a significant positive economic impact.”

Captain Iain Dunderdale, Cruise Manager for Cruise Highlands, the joint venture between Cromarty Firth Port Authority and Bannerman’s, added  “The Port of Invergordon receive many repeat visits, with cruise lines attracted by the traditional Highland welcome they receive and the invaluable support of the Invergordon Tourism Alliance, all of whom are volunteers.”

The growth in the popularity of the cruise sector is a global trend, with Scotland leading the way as an inbound cruise tourism destination.  Last year, Scotland won the Seatrade Cruise Insider award for the Best Cruise Destination.
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