First cruise ship of season sails into port

Passengers were piped ashore by a local piper.
Passengers were piped ashore by a local piper.

Peterhead played host to the first cruise ship of the season at the weekend when the Seabourn Quest arrived at the port.

The town will be the port of call for no less than five cruise ships this year, with more than 2,000 visitors set to explore the local area.

The Seabourn Quest arrived in Peterhead early on Saturday morning.

The Seabourn Quest arrived in Peterhead early on Saturday morning.

The Seabourn Quest is the largest of the five ships at 198m in length, carrying 450 passengers. It arrived at the port at 8am on Saturday and was the earliest cruise call so far at Peterhead.

A piper welcomed the passengers ashore at the Blue Toon port, while local historian Derek Jennings was tour guide for the day as a number of visitors headed out with him to take a look around various points of interest in Aberdeenshire.

FTI Berlin will be the next to arrive on June 10 at 6am, while Sea Cloud II is due in on June 27.

Saga Pearl II will arrive on July 19, with the final vessel, Saga Sapphire, due in to port on August 7.

Local historian Derek Jennings dressed up for his tour guide duties as he took the visitors around points of interest in Aberdeenshire.

Local historian Derek Jennings dressed up for his tour guide duties as he took the visitors around points of interest in Aberdeenshire.

Speaking to The Buchanie, Peterhead Port Authority deputy chief executive, Stephen Paterson, said the ships would be offering a range of shore excursions.

“These include Aberdeen City Tour, Fyvie Castle, Duff House and Scotland’s Lighthouse Museum at Fraserburgh,” he said.

However, discussions will be held to try and divert some of the passengers to Peterhead Prison Museum, which opened its doors in June last year.

Mr Paterson added: “Most of the calls are part of a round UK cruise, but the Seabourn Quest call is part of a European Highlights itinerary which also takes in the likes of Amsterdan, Oslo and Copenhagen.

“We look forward to welcoming more visitors to Peterhead and will work with the vessel agents and ground handlers to make the visit pleasant and memorable for the passengers and as efficient as possible for the vessel.

"Many of the shore trips are half day so there should be an opportunity for some of the passengers and crew to explore Peterhead during the visits,” he added.