HRH The Princess Royal to open Aberdeen South Harbour

Scottish port hopes the expansion will be a catalyst for year-on-year cruise growth

HRH The Princess Royal to open Aberdeen South Harbour

Derek Ironside/Newsline Media

AIDAaura was the first cruise ship to call into the new South Harbour

By Laura Hyde |

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is to officially open the Port of Aberdeen’s multimillion-pound South Harbour expansion during a quayside event with 200 invited guests on 22 September 2023.

A specially designed accropode will be unveiled at the event to commemorate the inauguration. It joins over 9,000 others, which were produced as part of a project to form the North and South breakwaters that act as the outer armour and protect the South Harbour from a one-in-200-year storm. 

“Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal takes a keen interest in the maritime sector, and Port of Aberdeen is truly honoured that she will officially open Aberdeen South Harbour – a momentous occasion for all,” said Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive of the Port of Aberdeen. “Aberdeen is one of the busiest ports in the UK and the expanded port will be integral to supporting the nation’s drive to net zero, growth of green trade and maritime decarbonisation.”

The expanded harbour, which cost £400 million ($509,040,000), is set to be fully completed and operational by the end of August 2023. It welcomed its first cruise ship on 2 May 2023, when AIDA Cruises’ 203-metre-long AIDAaura arrived from Hamburg, Germany for a full day visit as part of a Scottish cruise. It is hoped the port’s expansion will be a catalyst for year-on-year growth in cruise tourism.

The Princess Royal last visited Port of Aberdeen in 1997 as part of the Royal Yacht Britannia’s farewell tour around the UK. “This occasion marks a significant milestone in the port’s almost 900-year history,” said Roy Buchan, chair of the Port of Aberdeen. “We look forward to demonstrating first-hand our ambitious vision and commitment to creating prosperity for future generations.”


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