With the growth of cruise tourism, fuelled by an expanding international fleet of cruise liners, it is not surprising that more ports around the world are gearing themselves and their facilities to attract more calls to their respective ports.
Those destinations that were astute enough to recognise the trend and the potential economic benefits to their region during the 1980’s and subsequently invested in their infrastructure are currently reaping the benefits.
Undoubtedly one of those ports in N W Europe is Invergordon which is situated within the Cromarty Firth on the east coast of Scotland. But how did it actually achieve that success? One of the reasons was the early appointment of the affable and kilted Captain Iain Dunderdale, who heads up Cruise Highlands Limited. I asked him to tell Sea Breezes how it happened. This was his answer.
“Over the last 25 years Invergordon has seen a remarkable rise in cruise traffic, from one elderly Yugoslavian liner with 214 passengers in 1989 to 64 liners this year with 90,000 passengers, including the largest liner docking, the Queen Mary 2. Invergordon bills itself as the Gateway to the Scottish Highlands, and certainly its proximity to Loch Ness, only 35 miles away, helps. However, although only a small village, it certainly isn’t a one horse town having a surprising array of tourist attractions in it or nearby, including a mural trail, world famous golf courses and distilleries, castles such as Dunrobin, Cawdor, Eilan Donan and Urquhart all within touring distance of the liners in port. Other attractions within range include Fort George, Culloden Battlefield and Inverewe Gardens.
The former Admiralty Dockyard port of over 80 years standing has come a long way since 1993, when the Navy pulled out. Today you will see several gigantic oil rigs being repaired simultaneously, a tanker loading 1 million barrels of North Sea crude for export to the Gulf of Mexico, and several state of the art diving vessels getting ready for West of Shetland operations all in port.” Well there it is…. but not quite…. Iain failed to mention that the other vital ingredient in the recipe for success is their regular contact with the Cruise lines and their Destination Planning divisions, basically ensuring that the lines were kept abreast of all developments within the Port and the Destination, hence insuring heightened awareness of Invergordon.
More on this and other news in Sea Breezes Magazine - December 2013 Issue
Click here to subscribe