GREENOCK is set to have its busiest cruise ship season.
The Ocean Terminal is due to be visited 91 times in 2023, a rise of around a quarter compared with last year.
As many as 150,000 passengers and 38,000 crew are expected to pass through the port.
Amongst ships returning to the terminal this year is MSC Virtuosa, which, in terms of gross tonnage (181,500), is the largest cruise vessel ever to come to the Clyde.
A new £19.2million cruise ship visitor centre is due to open soon at the terminal.
It will feature a museum paying tribute to the renowned late artist George Wyllie, a restaurant and roof terrace with stunning views of the Clyde as well as a an arrivals and departure hall.
Clydeport welcomed 71 vessels to the terminal last year as it returned to almost pre-pandemic levels.
Jim McSporran, Clydeport port director at Peel Ports, said: “We’re extremely proud to be announcing a record cruise year for Greenock Ocean Terminal.
“Welcoming cruise liners to Greenock is a hugely important aspect of our port offering and we’re delighted that we continue to attract and grow cruise numbers to the region.
“This increase in tourism will benefit visitor attractions and businesses across Inverclyde and central Scotland, and we look forward to welcoming these visitors across the season.
“In an effort to showcase the port as the cruise gateway to the West Coast of Scotland, this year we are also investing in a promotional campaign to feature at the global cruise industry’s key annual gathering in the U.S.”
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “The cruise sector here in Inverclyde continues to go from strength to strength and I’m delighted that this year is set to be the busiest yet with record numbers of ships and passengers, as well as a substantial number of crew visiting these shores.
“It’s timely that with 2023 shaping up to be a bumper year for cruise calls that the finishing touches are being put on our new state-of-the-art Greenock cruise ship visitor centre which will provide our guests from around the world with a first-class welcome to Inverclyde and the west coast of Scotland.
“While we can all look forward to seeing some of the largest and most luxurious ships grace these shores over the coming months, with nearly 190,000 people expected on board those vessels, there are also economic opportunities there for local businesses as visitors looking to discover Inverclyde and the many great things we have to offer.”