Leith Ports

R W Cattell (Letters, 15 May) was correct when he wrote that cruise “bookings were good for the current year”. Scotland is a key destination for cruise lines and their passengers.

Leith in particular, as Edinburgh’s “home port”, is designated as a marquee port and the attractions of Edinburgh are regarded as “must-sees” for thousands of national and international visitors.

In Leith, the 2015 season launches on 22 May when the first cruise vessel is due and there will be 22 further calls over the season. Last year Leith saw 27 vessels (not the 50 calls quoted in R W Cattell’s letter).

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Forth Ports’ cruise business is growing each year and in 2015 we are expecting to welcome 80 ships bringing 90,000 passengers to our ports and anchorages over the summer.

The season period has increased this year with cruise vessels visiting from March right through until October and importantly we are seeing an increase in cruise days which means that ships are staying longer in port with passengers spending more in the local area.

The cruise business is an important economic driver for Scotland and the local areas where the liners call, with many local businesses and attractions benefiting from this significant tourism spend.

Forth Ports has invested significantly over the past few years in improved cruise terminal facilities in Leith and Rosyth and this year we have introduced a new deep water anchorage point for larger liners in Newhaven.

This new anchorage is now open for business and will see large vessels calling from July. This new deep water facility is a significant attraction for larger liners that have thousands of passengers on board looking for direct access to Scotland’s capital city.

Our business continues to grow each year and is an important part of our portfolio and Leith will be busy this season with cruise passengers enjoying the warm welcome of the city.

Robert Mason

Head of Cruise

Forth Ports Limited