By Scott Wright

FORTH Ports has declared that it expects to see a 50 per cent rise in cruise ships coming into the east of Scotland this year.

The company anticipates that around 150 vessels carrying an estimated 225,000 passengers will sail into the ports of Leith, Rosyth and Dundee, as well as anchorages in the River Forth for Newhaven and South Queensferry, in 2023, up from 100 last year.

The forecasts underline the continuing recovery of the cruising market from the pandemic, which placed huge restrictions on international travel.

Forth Ports hailed Edinburgh as a “marquee” destination for the sector on account of its wide range of tourist attractions and cultural events.

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The cruise season traditionally runs from April to October. Forth said it will kick off this year on April 11 with the arrival of the Viking Venus into the deep anchorage near Newhaven, with the vessel set to bring thousands of passengers into Scotland’s capital city.

Rob Mason, head of cruise at Forth Ports, said: “Since the restart of the industry last year we have been working hard with the city, destination partners and the wider cruise industry to meet all of the industries challenges and deliver another success cruise season.

“We know that there are significant economic benefits to the country as hundreds of thousands of passengers visit our cities and we look forward to welcoming them this year.”