RUSSIAN CRUISES TO SET SAIL FROM CITY
£350m new harbour to launch European routes
CRUISE passengers will soon be able to travel direct from Aberdeen on six new routes including Russia. Independent travel agent Ramsay Travel has unveiled the brand new routes which will be operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages from the new Aberdeen South Harbour. The six routes include voyages around Britain and Paris, trips to the Baltic States and St Petersburg, Norway and Iceland and will run between August and October 2020. The cruise company has been running voyages from nearby Dundee and hopes to build on its success in the north-east. A £350 million harbour expansion is under way at the Bay of Nigg, which will begin to welcome cruise ships when it opens in 2020. Colin Ramsay, managing director of Ramsay Travel, said: “We have six cruises starting and ending in Aberdeen. “It has been an astounding success for the last three or four years from Dundee. “We suggested to them that they do something out of Aberdeen but the problem was getting access to the harbour. “The new south harbour coming along has given us a great opportunity.” Mr Ramsay said the city would likely benefit from cruises beginning and ending in its harbour. He added: “Many people come for a couple of days before or at the end and they will stay in the city. “There is a pent-up demand in the north-east for this because I know people have been going from Dundee previously and many have to go to Southampton.” The Marco Polo cruise ship, which will be used for the routes, has space for up to 800 guests along with eight passenger decks, five lounge areas, a swimming pool and walk-around promenade. Tourist bosses have recently said they are detecting “a lot of interest” in the north-east as a destination for cruise ship passengers. The new harbour has also been described as a “game changer” for the cruise market since it will allow much larger ships to enter the port.