First Large Cruise Vessel Arrives in Aberdeen South Harbour

May 2, 2023

©Port of Aberdeen
©Port of Aberdeen

Port of Aberdeen said Tuesday it had welcomed the first cruise ship into the "transformational" £400 million Aberdeen South Harbour expansion. 

The 203-meter-long AIDAaura, with a capacity for more than 1,200 guests, is the longest vessel to visit the Port of Aberdeen to date. The vessel arrived from Hamburg, Germany, for a full day visit as part of a Scottish cruise.  

The AIDAaura berthed on Castlegate Quay, and the guests were greeted by a 50-strong pipe band and Highland dancers from Robert Gordon’s College and ‘Welcome to Aberdeenshire’ volunteers. 

"Together with today’s arrival of the polar expedition ship National Geographic Resolution into Aberdeen’s North Harbour on its maiden call, the port’s cruise season has kicked off to a strong start. Aberdeen will welcome 39 cruise calls between May and October* this year, with up to 31,000 guests visiting the region which could boost the local economy by £4.2 million," Port of Aberdeen said.

The expansion of Port of Aberdeen is expected to catalyze year-on-year growth in cruise tourism. More than 50 calls are already booked for 2024, including the AIDAdiva which measures more than 250m in length and accommodates over 2,000 guests.

Bob Sanguinetti, Chief Executive, Port of Aberdeen, said: “It is fantastic to see the first cruise call arrive at South Harbour today, which marks a new dawn for tourism in the North East of Scotland. While the tourism industry is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, we’re very encouraged with the number of calls to the port secured for this year and next.

“Port of Aberdeen is a gateway to the amazing attractions of North East Scotland. We look forward to growing our work with the international cruise industry in the coming years, as tens of thousands guests experience the incredible scenery and culture that the region has to offer.”


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