Success story sees 50,000 passenger arrival barrier broken
GREENOCK Ocean Terminal’s 2010 cruise season will be its busiest yet, with 31 ships already booked to call there, bringing 50,732 passengers – up a quarter on this year and two-thirds on 2007.
The Ocean Terminal’s new £100,000 cruise facility – which opened only five months ago – is looking forward to welcoming new ships such as Cunard’s Queen Victoria, Fred Olsen’s Bouddica, P&O’s Oriana and Cruise & Maritime Service’s Ocean Majesty for the first time, as well as hosting repeat visits from some familiar faces such as the giant, 3,000-passenger Grand Princess and the Crown Princess.
The terminal is also building a reputation as a starting point for sea trips, with a record total of 12,600 passengers embarking next year on nine cruises organised by operators Fred Olsen, National Trust- Saga Holidays and the new company Cruise & Maritime Services International Ltd.
The new cruise facility is key to the increased success of the terminal, and Clydeport, Riverside Inverclyde and Inverclyde Council jointly funded the partnership project that has vastly improved both the appearance and functionality of the arrivals hall – the first experience thousands of overseas cruise passengers every year have of Scotland.
Says a spokesperson: “Greenock Ocean Terminal is fast becoming an important cruise port vital to Scottish tourism as a gateway for overseas visitors. This year, it saw the highly-publicised first visit of the new superliner, Queen Mary 2, and the last-ever visit of the QE2.
“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 spend money in Greenock, as do crews taking advantage of shore leave, and it is estimated that the cruise business now brings over £2m a year into the Inverclyde economy.”
Andrew Hemphill, Clydeport’s operations manager at Ocean Terminal, said: “Year on year, we are building the cruise business at Greenock, and 2010 will be the best to date. Breaking the 50,000 passenger barrier for the first time is a fantastic achievement, and testament to the efforts that have been made to improve the experience of overseas visitors arriving at Greenock.
“Greenock is also ideally-placed for Scots passengers wishing to leave from a local port, as can be seen by the increase in operators using us as an embarkation point. Instead of having to travel long distances south to English ports, your holiday can start shortly after you leave home.
“We have been improving the facilities, year on year, but this year’s upgrade has had a major visual effect on our arrivals hall, which until now has been essentially a modified port shed. We are delighted the Greenock experience has been enhanced, along with the help the Inverclyde Tourist Groups adds, giving a positive impression both of our town and our country.”
Elaine Bruges, cruises operations manager for the National Trust for Scotland, said: “The National Trust for Scotland charters Spirit of Adventure to operate two cruises every year to raise money for the charity’s conservation works. Our cruises always start and finish from a Scottish port and we find the facilities and service we receive at Greenock to be excellent. The improvements made to the terminal building this year definitely offer our passengers a more comfortable embarkation and speedy disembarkation.”
Fred Olsen will also be embarking at Greenock with the Boudicca on three occasions and calling on another occasion with the Balmoral.
Matt Grimes, director of Planning, Ports and Logistics, said: “Fred Olsen Cruises always look forward to our season in Greenock. The co-operation and support from the port is excellent.”
The terminal will also be welcoming new cruise operator, Cruise and Maritime Services, with their vessel, Ocean Countess. The Ocean Countess will be embarking at Greenock on four occasions throughout the month of August.
These embarkation calls, along with the day calls, will ensure that Greenock remains an integral part of the cruise industry within Scotland, providing a high standard of service and support to the cruise operators during their visit to Greenock.
Clydeport is a member of Cruise Scotland, the new organisation launched in March at the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami Exhibition to promote and market the country’s ports and many visitor attractions, internationally.
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Contact: Alex Hamilton
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