Scotland business

Record cruise passenger numbers forecast

Disney Magic ship Image copyright Disney
Image caption Disney Magic is among hundreds of cruise ships expected to head to Scotland this year

The number of cruise passengers heading to Scotland is set to top 500,000 for the first time this year, according to an industry marketing body.

Cruise Scotland's forecast follows a record-breaking season in 2015 when Scottish ports welcomed 460,546 visitors and 501 cruise ships.

It expects more than 525,000 passengers on 644 vessels this year.

Among the ships planning to visit is a Disney Magic cruise, on its first round-Britain voyage.

It is due to call at Greenock, Kirkwall and Invergordon.

Cruise Scotland chairman Victor Sandison said: "The continuing growth shows the increasing popularity of Scotland as a destination in a highly-competitive global market.

"This year's estimated passenger count of over 525,000 will take us around halfway to the annual target of 1.1 million by 2029 - a figure identified in a study carried out in 2010 when there were just over 268,000 cruise visitors.

"Breaking half-a-million passengers will be a great achievement for all involved in marketing, port services and providing a great welcome, from harbours and shops to visitor attractions."

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