September 29th 2017

Orkney has received its final cruise call of the season.

The 2017 season closed on the 27 September with the final port call of the season from the Bremen berthed at Kirkwall Pier.

135 ships arrived this year delivering 113,085 passengers, an increase of 14.5% from 2016.

There were also 10 cancelled port calls due to bad weather.

Michael Morrison, Business Development manager with OIC Marine Services said, ‘’ Once again, Orkney has excelled itself in remaining the most popular destination for cruise ships in the United Kingdom.

“The loss of 10 ships with a potential 15,500 passengers and over half a million gross tonnes of shipping was disappointing but this was unfortunately the pattern across much of the UK this season.

“The percentage increase of 14.5% for port calls and passenger numbers on the 2016 season is very encouraging and in 2018 we are preparing to receive 135 port calls and potentially 130,000 passengers. The customer service rating for Orkney from cruise ship passengers has been exceptional with one cruise line advising that the customer service ratings for Kirkwall were the highest in the UK and the second highest in Europe.

“Next year will bring fresh challenges for tourism with the introduction of the Road Equivalent Tariff to Orkney and a review of logistics and customer service delivery is already under way to meet and exceed the tourism experience.”

This season has also seen the revamping of the Cruise Orkney website, with new content including a refreshed ‘Welcome to Orkney’ video for cruise passengers and video case studies of local businesses who have been making the most of the opportunities that the cruise industry has brought to Orkney.