The Scottish port of Orkney is to handle a record number of cruise ships in 2015.
To date, 83 cruise calls have been scheduled this year, four more than in 2014. In total, these ships have the capacity to carry more than 80,000 passengers and 25,000 crew.
“We’re all set for a record-breaking year for cruise ship visits,” said Michael Morrison, business development manager for Orkney Islands Council Marine Services. “More bookings are still expected for 2015. We’re seeing more visits by bigger vessels, resulting in greater overall passenger numbers for Orkney. The increase in the size of ships visiting demonstrates the confidence that the industry has in our ability to deliver a first class experience for visiting passengers.”
Orkney will host seven maiden calls this year, including a visit from MSC Cruises’ MSC Splendida, which will have more than 3,300 passengers onboard. The ship will visit a further four times in 2015.
Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Magic will also visit Kirkwall – the only UK port on her itinerary – this year, while Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, the world’s sixth largest passenger vessel, will call twice in the 2015 season. P&O Cruises’ latest newbuild, Britannia, will arrive in Orkney as part of her March 2016 maiden voyage around the British Isles.
“We pay a great deal of attention to the pre-planning of the cruise season and we try to consider every eventuality that could occur and be ready to react accordingly,” said Morrison. “Orkney remains, despite stiff competition from other developing cruise ports, the most popular cruise ship destination in the UK.”
The port already has 48 ships booked for 2016 and berthing requests have been made for 2017.
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