A continuing success story
In last month’s Sea Breezes, Terry Toohey’s “Cruise News” feature contained some spectacular photos of the futuristic cruise terminal at Leixoes, the gateway to Porto, as well as photographs capturing a very busy few days at the port of Lisbon with visits from numerous liners including Cunard’s iconic Queen Mary 2.
Both features provided some indication of the continuing success and growth of the cruise sector. It was interesting to note that statistics released by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) earlier this year highlighted a significant recent landmark in the growth of the UK & Ireland market with over two million passengers taking cruise trips in 2018 – an all time high. In particular, there was significant growth in what is called the “taster cruise” market which involves short trips of between 1-3 days.
This ongoing success continues to create positive and exciting headlines, both in terms of new vessels being built and new terminals being planned. It was great to see that planning permission was recently granted for a new cruise terminal at Greenock on the River Clyde in Scotland with the aim of creating an iconic building which will also encompass an art gallery in tribute to a distinguished local artist George Wyllie.
The development of new harbour facilities at the historic port of Aberdeen on the east coast of Scotland has also been covered previously in “Message from the Bridge”, with the opportunity to harness potential growth in the cruise sector being one of the key driving forces behind the major investment by the Harbour Board there.
And next year will see the introduction of the Iona, the largest cruise liner ever built for the UK market, currently under construction in Germany for P&O Cruises. All of this points towards continued growth in the cruise market which would have been a struggle to envisage in the decades post-World War II when the growing network of international air routes seemed to have closed the chapter on the days of the great cruise liners.
Sea Breezes is delighted to announce that we will have a Guest Editor for our next few editions. Captain Peter Corrin will be at the helm following the recent passing of Hamish Ross. Peter was a close friend and colleague of Hamish’s and had a long and distinguished career at the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. We look forward to Peter joining the team.