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Aberdeen’s 2024 cruise season underway

Welcoming AIDASol. Credit: Newsline Media Limited and Port of Aberdeen

8 April 2024

Port of Aberdeen kicked off its 2024 cruise season on 8th April with the arrival of AIDAsol. The German-flagged liner, carrying 1,998 guests and 629 crew, arrived from Hamburg, Germany for a day-long stopover before setting sail in the evening for Kirkwall, Orkney Islands. Due to unsuitable weather, the vessel anchored in the bay and tendered guests into Duthies Quay, North Harbour, where they were given an authentic Scottish welcome by Alba Bagpipes and greeted by the ‘Welcome to Aberdeenshire’ volunteers.

The port currently has 58 cruise calls scheduled for 2024*, including 22 maiden calls, highlighting Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s growing appeal as a cruise destination. Bookings extend as far as 2027, by which time over 100 cruise calls are anticipated, featuring industry giants like Fred. Olsen Cruises and Holland America.

Bob Sanguinetti, CEO, Port of Aberdeen, said: “With a record number of bookings and a diverse range of visiting vessels, we are poised for unprecedented growth in the coming years and are eager to showcase the best of what Aberdeen and the surrounding region has to offer.”

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Christian Allard said: “Aberdeen is establishing itself as a must-visit destination for cruise ships and the 2024 season is one we can build upon further. As a council we are delivering transformation through the City Centre and Beach Masterplan – thus ensuring that visitors enjoy a great experience when they disembark.”

Efforts to attract new cruise lines are ongoing, with Port of Aberdeen and VisitAberdeenshire actively promoting the destination at Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami from 8 – 11 April, the cruise industry’s leading event.

Chris Foy, CEO, VisitAberdeenshire, said: “The growth in calls for 2024 is a vote of confidence in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire as a cruise destination. This year VisitAberdeenshire is enhancing the welcome offered to passengers through its expanded volunteer programme and has developed more opportunities for local suppliers to benefit from cruise calls.

“Attendance at Seatrade Cruise Global, the world’s largest cruise event alongside Port of Aberdeen is an opportunity to build relationships and secure more business for 2025 and beyond.”

Adrian Watson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “It’s great to see Aberdeen’s cruise season get underway today. You simply cannot overstate the impact that will have on boosting our city’s economy and helping Aberdeen chart a course to a brighter future.”