Orkney Islands in northern Scotland, is gearing up for another record breaking cruise ship season – with the first of the 2014 vessels due to arrive in Kirkwall in less than eight weeks’ time.
The 76 liners currently expected in Orkney during 2014 will be carrying up to 65,000 passengers and 20,000 crew in total.
For passenger numbers, this is a record for Orkney – and the gross tonnage of shipping has also increased by almost 1 million tonnes compared to last year.
Brian Archibald, Orkney Islands Council’s Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transportation, said: “We’re looking forward to a very busy season. “Due to Orkney’s popularity with cruise passengers, there will be four dates this year where two large cruise ships will call on the same day, with one anchoring in Kirkwall Bay and the other berthing at Hatston Pier.
“That will be topped on July 5, when there will be three vessels in Kirkwall carrying up to 6500 passengers between them. Ensuring the passengers have a memorable visit to Orkney means a big team effort. Everyone involved will be working hard to make this another successful season.”
Forward bookings for 2015 are also extremely healthy, with 50 vessels and 66,000 passengers already expected.
For 2016, eight large liners delivering almost 24,000 passengers have already reserved berths.
A recent economic impact study based on the 2013 season showed that more than £3 million is generated annually for the Orkney economy by cruise ship activity.