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Invergordon Welcomes Record Number of Cruise Passengers 01/08/2011

Invergordon and its Port have achieved another first, with the greatest number of cruise passengers ever to arrive in to the town on one ship.  

The Costa Magica is one of the largest ships in the Costa Cruises fleet and last week her 3,336 passengers were able to disembark, explore the destination of Invergordon and Easter Ross plus access the wider Highlands tourist attractions. 

The previous record dates back to July 2009, when the Crown Princess docked carrying 3,231 passengers. 

As passengers disembarked, they were given a traditional Highland welcome in the form of a Piper and the volunteers from the Invergordon Tourism Alliance were on hand as always to play an invaluable role in promoting the Easter Ross towns’ sites and attractions. 

54% of passengers were booked on to shore excursions, leaving a significant number of passengers to potentially explore the area independently.  A Folkloric show held on board the liner, organised by Cruise Highlands, is also a star attraction and adds to the uniqueness of Invergordon as a cruise destination.

Cruise Development Manager for Cruise Highlands Ltd, Captain Iain Dunderdale commented that “We have been successful in attracting increased number of vessel calls to the Port, thanks to the warm welcome extended locally and our proximity to tourist attractions.  Cruise Highlands has worked hard to ensure that the Firth can meet the needs of this growing industry and this has paid off.  We are having the strongest year to date. “

Captain Ken Gray, Chief Executive and Harbour Master for Cromarty Firth Port Authority, who own 50% of Cruise Highlands Ltd says “Tourism through the Firth has been growing year on year.  2010 saw 63,000 cruise ship passengers and this all helps to enhance the economy of the Highlands.  2011 is on target to exceed this.”

This is the Costa Magica’s second visit to the Firth this summer and with one more visit planned in August, we wait to see whether records will be broken for a second time this year.

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