First cruise ship arrives at newly-expanded £400m harbour 

AIDAaura, which has a capacity for more than 1,200 guests, arrived at newly expanded South Harbour on Tuesday morning.

The first cruise ship has arrived at a £400m expanded harbour in Aberdeen following months of delays.

South Harbour, which is both larger and deeper than its predecessor, has been the UK’s biggest marine infrastructure project since it began in 2017.

Following delays brought on by the pandemic to its original completion date of August 2020, the harbour has welcomed its first cruise ship.

The 203-meter-long AIDAaura, with a capacity for more than 1,200 guests, berthed on Castlegate Quay on Tuesday morning.

The ship arrived from Hamburg.

The ship, which is the longest vessel to visit the Port of Aberdeen to date, arrived from Hamburg, Germany, for a full day visit as part of a Scottish cruise.

Guests were greeted by a 50-strong pipe band and Highland dancers from Robert Gordon’s College and ‘Welcome to Aberdeenshire’ volunteers.

Aberdeen is scheduled to welcome 39 cruise calls between May and October this year, with up to 31,000 guests.

AIDAaura is the longest vessel to visit the Port of Aberdeen to date.

Port of Aberdeen chief executive Bob Sanguinetti said: “It is fantastic to see the first cruise call arrive at South Harbour, which marks a new dawn for tourism in the north east of Scotland.

“While the tourism industry is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, we’re very encouraged with the number of calls to the port secured for this year and next.

“We look forward to growing our work with the international cruise industry in the coming years, as tens of thousands guests experience the incredible scenery and culture that the region has to offer.”