Port of Aberdeen ends record-breaking 2023 cruise season

Scottish port expects to again surpass record number of cruise call in 2024

Port of Aberdeen ends record-breaking 2023 cruise season

Port of Aberdeen

A record 43 cruise calls were made to Aberdeen in Scotland in 2023

By Alex Smith |

The Port of Aberdeen has ended its record-breaking 2023 cruise season with its final cruise ship call on 18 October.

The Scottish port received a record 43 cruise calls between May and October 2023, with zero safety incidents and an increase in revenue to the port. Compagnie Française de Croisières’ cruise ship Renaissance was the longest vessel to berth at the port in 2023, making two calls to the new South Harbour during the season.

“South Harbour has moved Aberdeen into the premier league of UK cruise ports and is transformational for tourism in the northeast of Scotland,” said Bob Sanguinetti, chief executive of the Port of Aberdeen. “More than 250 cruise ships sail past Aberdeen every year, and we want to attract as much of that business to the port as we can.”

Aberdeen is expecting to break its new record again in 2024, with 55 cruise calls already scheduled during the year. AIDAsol and AIDAdiva, both measuring more than 250 metres in length, will surpass Renaissance as the largest vessels to visit the port with the calls to South Harbour in 2024.

The port is also accepting bookings for 2025 and 2026. According to Cruise Scotland, cruise calls to the country generate an average spend of £134 per passenger.

“Each ship that arrives at the new South Harbour brings a massive influx of visitors into the heart of the Granite City, all of them enjoying - and boosting - the great shops, restaurants, bars and attractions we have,” said Adrian Watson, chief executive of business improvement district Aberdeen Inspired. “Cruise ships are transforming the tourism industry in Aberdeen and the northeast, becoming a major driver for footfall and growth in the Granite City. With even more calls already in place for 2024, the cruise ship sector has set course to become an economic powerhouse for Aberdeen and the region.”

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