Aberdeen Harbour and the surrounding region are looking at ways in which they can attract more cruise visits from larger cruise ships to the area.
According to the Evening Express, representatives from Visit Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen Harbour will be flying to the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Fort Lauderdale next week, (13-17th March) where they will meet leading travel and cruise organisations and experts in which they will be able to discuss the North East of Scotland’s plans to attract a higher number of (larger) cruise ships to the area.
Speaking to the Evening Express, Jenni Fraser, Buisness Development Director at Visit Aberdeenshire stated that Aberdeen was one of the busiest ports in the UK but a lack of cruise ships visiting the port was rather underwhelming. She said:
“Aberdeen Harbour is one of the busiest ports in the UK, attracting over 8,000 vessels in 2016, but only 12 cruise ships docked here last year. We have a significant growth opportunity thanks to the Aberdeen Harbour extension plans to attract the more commonly-used large cruise vessels. We believe the new port and Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be of real interest to cruise providers.”
One particular aspect that could be successful in targetting cruise lines and cruise ships to Aberdeen is the £350m planned expansion for the harbour. According to Aberdeen Harbour’s website, work is set to begin in the Spring of 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by 2020. Once completed, this could give the area a massive boost for tourism and the local economy. At the moment, the Harbour can accomodate vessels of a maxium 170m long, beam of 30m and maximum draft of 8.5m. Once expansion has been completed, the maximum length for vessels berthing in the harbour will be 300m, maximum beam of 45m and a maximum draft of 10.5m.
Aberdeen Harbour is expecting to welcome 24 cruise calls this year from 7 different ships including Silver Explorer and Sea Cloud II. Silver Wind is also expected to make a call to the harbour in July 2018.
With the harbour within one square mile of the centre of Aberdeen, cruise passengers can have easy access to the shops, pubs, restaurants and attractions that Aberdeen has to offer. The airport is approximately 5 miles from the city too. Aberdeen is the gateway to the North and East of Scotland, with copious amounts of tourist attractions on offer within reachable distance from the city, including Royal Deeside, Braemar and a visit to the Queen’s Scottish Estate of Balmoral.
Feature Image: Aberdeen Harbour
Source: Evening Express, Aberdeen Harbour, Cruise Scotland
Images: Cruise Scotland, Aberdeen Harbour