The number of cruise ships arriving at one of Scotland’s main ports is being anticipated to double this year.
It comes after the 95,000 tonne MSC Magnifica was welcomed into a new dedicated pontoon in Greenock on Friday morning.
Around 140,000 passengers and 35,000 crew members are expected to pass through the Greenock Ocean Terminal this year in its first full port season since the industry was shut down by Covid-19.
In 2022, 74 cruise liners have so far been booked into the new pontoon – a significant increase on the 41 vessels in total that visited the port in 2021 due to the shorter cruise season.
And it marks a huge jump on the one ship which passed through the post before the coronavirus lockdown in March 2020.
Jim McSporran, Clydeport Port director at Peel Ports said: “Cruises are a really important part of what we do at Greenock, as well as the container and other cargo vessels we have coming in.
“We’ve very proud of the connection between the town and the maritime industry, so we hope everyone will be as pleased as we are to see these vessels returning in such numbers.
“The new visitor centre, which will be finished later this year, will be a real game changer for the terminal and underlines how committed we are to making the most of our facilities in the community.
“Having such a large number of passengers across the year will also be a real boost for businesses and tourist attractions across Inverclyde and central Scotland, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.”
Allan Warwick, chair of Discover Inverclyde Tourism Partnership, added: “The new cruise season is always a welcome start to a busy season of visitors and a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic places, venues and businesses across Inverclyde.
“We aim to promote the fantastic visitor offer Inverclyde has to cruise visitors and also to visitors from closer to home to discover Inverclyde for themselves this year.”