Port of Cromarty Firth to close to cruise ships for one month; Invergordon's record-breaking liner business set to take a hit as health concerns prompt action
The Port of Cromarty Firth has said it plans to close all access to cruise ships in April and will review the situation for May and beyond.
The port was due to start welcoming cruise ships from early April to the Invergordon port.
Bob Buskie, chief executive of the Port of Cromarty Firth said: “As a result of the ongoing developments of the COVID-19 (coronavirus), I can confirm there will be no cruise ships coming into Invergordon in April this year.
"The Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland and the Port Health Authority are taking proactive measures to mitigate against the impact of COVID-19 and are providing instructions for the port to follow.
"As the COVID-19 developments remain fluid, the cruise calls scheduled into Invergordon for May and beyond are under constant review. The port will follow the instructions, advice and guidance from the governing authorities and experts as it becomes available.”
The first visit was due to have taken place on April 3 when Cruise & Maritime's Magellan, which has space for 1452 passnegres and a crew of 660. Also cancelled will be AIDA Cruises AIDA aura which had been due to make two visits on April 7 and 18. It was due to bring in 1687 passengers and 426 crew members.
Sixteen seperate visits are included in the schedule for May as things stand with 13 more slated for June. The season is due to run until October 3 as the original schedule stands.
The business is worth an estimated £18 million to the Highland economy.