It’s has been announced that Scotland will be getting its first purpose-built cruise ship terminal on the mainland.
The planned site is an old decommissioned coal-fired power station in Cockenzie, East Lothian. The location will allow full-sized modern liners to dock, which they currently can’t do at other docks further up the Firth of Forth due to height and width restrictions.
The developers hope that Cockenzie will become a convenient gateway, welcoming cruise passengers coming from Europe and the Baltics.
Currently, the only purpose-built cruise terminal in Scotland is in Orkney, although many ships still stop at ports around the Scottish coast.
The development isn’t likely to be quick however, with plans for the 120 acre site to be have an eco village, visitor centre and a retail and business park, in addition to the cruise terminal.
The development will take 10 to 15 years to complete, costing around £300 million.
Professor Alfred Baird is a maritime transport expert at Edinburgh Napier University, and was involved in a study for Scottish power in the 1990s, which concluded even then that the location with be ideal for a modern cruise ship terminal.
“It would easily represent the biggest single economic development in East Lothian for generations,” he said. “People should be aware that there is currently nowhere for the large cruise ships to go on the Forth. Scotland’s capital region therefore misses out on hundreds of port visits by cruise ships and hundreds of thousands of visitors – Copenhagen gets around 500 cruise ship visits per year, whilst the Forth gets only 70 or 80.”
What do you think? Does Scotland need another cruise port? Would you cruise from Scotland if you had the choice?
Let us know in the comments below…