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First cruise boats welcomed in Fort William (15/05/12)
The Highland Council is delighted that the cruise ships ‘Marco Polo’ and the ‘Ocean Countess’ will visit Fort William on the 26th May and 4th June respectively.
The Council has marketed Fort William for many years as a possible cruise ship destination and the arrival of these two ships is very welcome. The ships carry around 800 passengers and so have the potential to make a significant impact on the local economy and it is hoped that local traders will welcome this business enthusiastically. With predominantly half day tours being offered by the tour company to many areas of Lochaber, there are excellent opportunities for businesses to benefit from these visits.
The Underwater Centre and Crannog Concept are kindly supplying the facilities for the ships to operate, with the Souter’s Lass being used as the platform to disembark passengers straight onto the pier in the heart of the town. Those visitors who choose not to go on the coach tours or who still have time to spend before or after their tour will be able to shop and relax in Fort William’s busy High Street.
The Council will ensure a local piper will be available to welcome the first passengers and a presentation will be made to the ships’ Captains to mark these special visits.
Councillor Brian Murphy Chair of Fort William Steering Group said: “I am really pleased that we are to get visits from four cruise ships this year, hopefully the first of many. We have been trying for a number of years to break into this market and I would like to thank the Underwater Centre and Crannog Concept for making this possible by offering the use of the Souter’s Lass.
“This is an opportunity that Fort William must grasp with both hands and I hope that local businesses will give some thought as to how they can make the visit an enjoyable experience for the cruise ship passengers. We need them to leave with happy and positive memories of their visit so that the cruise companies will want to return in increasing numbers.”