50 ships booked
First cruise ship calls in Greenock since lockdown
Shipshape: the cruise ship in Greenock
Cruise ship Anthem of the Seas arrived in Greenock yesterday, the first to berth on the Clyde since the Covid crisis effectively closed down the industry.
The giant 169,000-tonne ship, capable of carrying 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew on its 16 decks, arrived just days after the Scottish Government relaxed pandemic rules.
Its arrival heralds a busy late cruising season this year at Greenock, with 50 ships booked into the town’s new dedicated pontoon by mid-November.
The pontoon is part of a £19m-plus cruise berthing and visitor centre development funded by Glasgow City Region City Deal, Peel Ports, Inverclyde Council and the George Wyllie Foundation. Work starts soon on the visitor centre.
Before the arrival of Covid, it was estimated that 150,000 cruise passengers per annum could pass through Greenock after the new terminal completion – delivering £26 million in annual visitor and crew spend to the Inverclyde and Scottish economy.
Peel Ports Clydeport director Jim McSporran said: “It was exciting to see Anthem of The Seas sail into Greenock today. It’s a symbol that the gradual removal of Covid restrictions which is taking place will soon see the cruise industry return to its pre-pandemic scale of operations and more.
“We’ve a very busy period coming up this year with 50 bookings at the new cruise terminal, and I’m looking forward to welcoming well in excess of 100 cruise arrivals next year.
“Peel Ports Clydeport is ready to play its part in boosting the tourism industry both locally and nationwide as passengers go on to visit tourist destinations throughout Central Scotland.”
Councillor Jim Clocherty, depute leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “The cruise market is hugely important for Inverclyde and Scotland and worth millions of pounds to the economy.
“With more things now opening up again, I’m delighted to see vessels back here on the Clyde and I hope people take the opportunity to discover Inverclyde and the many things it has to offer.
“The fact that so many ships and passengers are booked in already for this year and next is testament to the warm welcome visitors receive here and cements Greenock and Inverclyde’s place as a friendly port.”