The giant 169,000-tonne Anthem of the Seas liner has become the first cruise ship to call at Greenock since the Covid crisis effectively closed down the industry. 

The Royal Caribbean ship capable of carrying 5,000 passengers and 1,500 crew on its 16 decks, arrived on Thursday at 7.30am after the Scottish Government relaxed pandemic rules.

She is on a five-night UK cruise and berthed at Ocean Terminal's new cruise pontoon.

It's the first cruise vessel to call here since 2019 after public health restrictions were eased by the government.

Last year's entire summer season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic but now cruise visits are finally allowed once again.

Royal Caribbean's 169,000-tonne vessel is the second biggest cruise ship ever to sail up the Clyde.

The passengers on board Anthem of the Seas are all UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

HeraldScotland:

Her arrival heralds a busy late cruising season this year at Greenock, with 50 ships booked into the Inverclyde town’s new dedicated pontoon by mid-November.

Before the arrival of Covid, it was estimated that 150,000 cruise passengers per annum could pass through Greenock after the new terminal completion - delivering £26 million in annual visitor and crew spend to the Inverclyde and Scottish economy.

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.”

Video by George Munro