Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, currently sailing in the UK, has become the first cruise ship to visit Greenock, Scotland since the cruise industry was shut down in Spring 2020. It comes after Scotland relaxes restrictions and finally allows cruise ships to visit.
Anthem of the Seas Calls in Greenock, Scotland
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship has kicked off the cruising season in Scotland, and it finally comes after the country remained closed for cruise ships and followed the same restrictions in England. Since the reopening on July 19, cruise ships can now make calls.
Anthem of the Seas is the first to visit Greenock in Scotland this morning and received a warm welcome. Its arrival heralds a busy late cruising season this year at Greenock, with 50 ships booked into the Inverclyde town’s new cruise terminal by mid-November.
The new terminal is part of a £19m-plus berthing and visitor center development funded by Glasgow City Region City Deal, Peel Ports, Inverclyde Council, and the George Wyllie Foundation.
Peel Ports Clydeport director Jim McSporran said: “It was exciting to see Anthem of The Seas sail into Greenock today. It’s a symbol that the gradual removal of Covid restrictions which is taking place will soon see the cruise industry return to its pre-pandemic scale of operations and more.”
“We’ve a very busy period coming up this year with 50 bookings at the new cruise terminal, and I’m looking forward to welcoming well in excess of 100 cruise arrivals next year.”
“Peel Ports Clydeport is ready to play its part in boosting the tourism industry both locally and nationwide as passengers go on to visit tourist destinations throughout Central Scotland.”
Before the pandemic hit, it was estimated that 150,000 cruise passengers would pass through the new terminal annually, which would result in supporting the Inverclyde and Scottish economy with £25 million in passenger spending.
Councillor Jim Clocherty, depute leader of Inverclyde Council, said: “The cruise market is hugely important for Inverclyde and Scotland and worth millions of pounds to the economy.”
“With more things now opening up again, I’m delighted to see vessels back here on the Clyde and I hope people take the opportunity to discover Inverclyde and the many things it has to offer.”
“The fact that so many ships and passengers are booked in already for this year and next is testament to the warm welcome visitors receive here and cements Greenock and Inverclyde’s place as a friendly port.”
The Scottish government decided not to follow England by allowing the restart of cruises. As a result and by surprise, the MSC Virtuosa was denied to make her first scheduled call in Greenock on July 9. This impacted those cruise ships that had planned on calling in Scotland as part of the UK domestic cruise comeback, which MSC Virtuosa first kicked off on May 21, 2021.
Rob Mason, Chairman of Cruise Scotland, said: “Over the last year, the cruise sector has worked tirelessly with the Scottish and UK Governments and industry partners to develop and strengthen health and safety measures which now exceed those of any other travel sector and are the result of extensive collaboration.”
“The decision to resume cruise is a welcome encouragement for our Scottish ports and harbours with the wider supply chain now able to recommence operations, welcoming UK sailings and UK passengers only, after a period of nearly 18 months following a voluntary suspension of visits in March 2020.”
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship restarted operations in the UK on July 7 and is the fifth ship in the fleet to begin regular sailings with passengers. She’s offering UK residents four-night ocean getaways along with five- to eight-night UK coastal cruises that include departures from Liverpool, England, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, to Kirkwall, Scotland.
Anthem of the Seas is sailing for guests who are fully vaccinated and 18 years and older. Guests under the age of 18 will need to have a negative test result. The cruise line has made sure every ship in the fleet has fully vaccinated crew members before resuming cruise operations.
Worth Reading: Which Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships Have Resumed Operations?
The vessel is part of the Quantum-class ships at 168,666 gross tons and has a guest capacity of 4,180 at double occupancy along with 1,500 international crew members.
Marella Explorer 2, operated by UK-based Marella Cruises, will also be visiting Scotland with a scheduled visit to Invergordon on July 25. The first vessel to visit Scotland since the reopening was small MS Island Sky, the ship berthed at Victoria Pier on July 19 with 66 passengers on board.