The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Scotland

The Ultimate Guide To Cruising From Scotland

If you are looking for a cruise departing from Scotland, there are a few different cruise ports to choose from, with cruises taking you to some spectacular destinations around the world. Below, we share all you need to know about these ports and cruising from these locations.

What are the options when cruising from Scotland?

When sailing on a cruise from Scotland this year or next, you have four main ports from which your holiday can start: Greenock (near Glasgow), Leith and Rosyth (both near Edinburgh) and the Port of Dundee. 

If you are looking to depart from Aberdeen, several cruise lines currently offer fly-cruises, which leave from the airport. The Port of Aberdeen is under expansion to increase its capacity. So, although no cruises are scheduled to depart from there this season, this is likely to change in the future. 

You can also find smaller, more local cruise holidays or trips from ports, such as Inverness, which sail around Scotland and explore its incredible islands.

Sailing from Glasgow

Greenock Cruise Terminal is the nearest port if you are travelling from Glasgow or western Scotland. Here, you can enjoy an authentic Scottish welcome, with bagpipe players often greeting arrivals.

The local town of Greenock is just a short walk away, while Glasgow is approximately 40 minutes drive. There is also a regular train service for Glasgow, from the nearby local station. Passengers can park at Cathcart Street west car park for up to 3 hours free of charge. If you are looking for long-stay parking while on your cruise, this can be arranged with your cruise agent.

Greenock Cruise Terminal has good facilities, including currency exchange, shops, a waiting area, an information point and disabled access. It’s also easy to make a quick visit to the shops and restaurants in Greenock centre. 

Fred. Olsen Cruises and Hebridean Island Cruises offer cruise holidays departing from Greenock with itineraries featuring stops around the British Isles. Some cruise holidays also sail to Northern Europe.

Larger cruise lines such as Silversea, Princess Cruises and Cunard Cruise often stop in Greenock as part of their itinerary. 

Sailing from Edinburgh

Leith Cruise Terminal

As a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Royal Yacht Britannia, a year-round visitor attraction, Leith Cruise Terminal has an incredible history. Recently restored, it also offers a good range of facilities, such as shops and cafes, a waiting area and internet access.

Edinburgh is just three miles away and easily accessed by bus or taxi. You can drive to Leith Cruise Terminal, and secure parking is available for passengers but must be pre-booked. 

Only cruise lines with smaller ships, such as Oceania Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Riviera Travel, dock at Leith, often cruising to Scandinavia or around the UK. 

Port Rosyth

Port Rosyth is an alternative port for Edinburgh, located across the Forth Railway Bridge, approximately a 35-minute drive from the city centre. The nearest train station to Port Rosyth is in Inverkeithing, a 10-minute taxi ride away. It’s a small terminal building with a waiting area, toilets and Wi-Fi. There is a convenience store and vending machines, but no dining or left luggage facilities.

The main cruise line operating out of Port Rosyth is Fred. Olsen Cruises, which generally offers cruise holidays during the summer, sailing around the UK, to Northern Europe or Scandinavia. 

Sailing from Dundee

The Port of Dundee is found on the northern bank of the River Tay and is just a short walk from the city centre. Its cruise terminal is mainly used for cruise holidays departing in the summer months. 

For passengers driving to the terminal, follow signs for cruise traffic. Parking is available within the port area and must be booked in advance. There are also drop-off facilities. The city of Dundee is well-connected by public transport options, with taxis available to the cruise terminal. Like Port Rosyth, the terminal building is small with limited facilities. However, toilets and disabled access are provided.

Ambassador Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises are the two leading cruise lines sailing from Dundee. They offer cruise holidays to Northern Europe, Scandinavia and around the UK.

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