Edinburgh and Scotland go for one million plus
The pandemic may have called a temporary halt but there is no doubt as to Scotland’s future cruise aspirations.
Stuart Wallace, coo Forth Ports Ltd, explained to delegates at the Cruise Europe Conference in May: “For Scotland we successfully restarted cruising in 2021, albeit on a small scale compared to the pre-pandemic levels, where we were rapidly heading towards one million passenger visits per annum. A level of activity we aspire to reach again and in fact surpass.
“Cruising will remain a key element of our tourism sector given the economic activity it drives. We estimate that on average each and every cruise call generates over £100,000 (€116,900) of economic benefit to the destination.”
A large part of that business comes from Forth Ports’ cruise business, Capital Cruising, which runs seven cruise terminals and anchorages across the UK including ports in Leith, Rosyth and anchorages at Newhaven and South Queensferry, all offering easy reach of the attractions in Edinburgh. Forth Ports continues to invest in deep water berth facilities at its ports in Leith and Dundee.
During the three-day Cruise Europe Conference in May, guests were left in no doubt as to the many attractions in the city (see also above). Piper Forth Ports official piper Louise Marshall was on hand throughout the proceedings, welcoming us to the Pier Brasserie, Newhaven, on the first night and joyfully piping us onto The Royal Yacht Britannia for a reception – and hilarious attempt to pipe – as well as into The National Museum of Scotland for a gala dinner. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers will not be forgotten!
Cruiseline executives were taken on a Lothian Motorcoaches tour of Edinburgh, ably guided by Scott with just enough history, culture and hilarious anecdotes to ensure a very happy couple of hours.
Lunch in the Cannonball Restaurant & Bar provided epicurean delights before stepping into the world of whisky at the newly-opened Johnnie Walker Experience. An Edinburgh Food Safari walking tour given by Nell rounded off the three-day event, which showcased the city at its best, bathed in sunshine, despite a chilly wind now and again.