Highlands & Islands

'Record rise' in cruise ship visits to Invergordon

Cruise ship
Bigger vessels carrying more passengers are behind the predicted record figures

Visits by cruise ships to a Highland port are forecast to reach record numbers this season.

Sixty-six vessels and a total of about 94,000 passengers, 20% more than last year, are expected to call at Invergordon.

Capt Iain Dunderdale, cruise development manager at the port, said bigger vessels carrying more people were pushing figures up.

He said the Highlands had the potential to draw more visitors.

Capt Dunderdale told BBC Alba: "This is an absolutely record year."

Other areas of the region have also sought to attract cruise ships.

Last year, Highland councillors were told that visits to Fort William could bring huge benefits to the Lochaber economy.

But they also heard that some challenges needed to be overcome before the town on the shores of Loch Linnhe could be marketed as a destination for large liners.

For the first time, small cruise ships visited the town that year.

But for bigger boats there are issues surrounding the loch's Corran Narrows and insurance, and also Fort William's pier.

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