MONTROSE could add to its role as a major east coast commercial shipping port.
On Thursday the town played host to the first cruise ship it has seen in many a day, with the arrival of the high luxury ‘Clipper Odyssey’, and its 100 passengers and 70 crew-members.
The ship had cruised around Scotland and Montrose was its final port of call before its Canadian passengers left to fly back home. Their places were taken by American holidaymakers who were starting their cruise, to Germany and the Baltic.
Speaking for the Port Authority on Tuesday morning, Brian Forrest told the Review that the visit had been very successful.
The ‘Clipper Odyssey’ had been in port for around 24 hours, having arrived slightly early because of bad weather. But this did not pose a problem for the port.
Mr Forrest said that security is one of the biggest issues with visiting cruise ships, as there are strict government directives that must be followed to the letter.
In answer to our question, Mr Forrest said that the port had not been ‘touting’ for cruise ship business, and that the decision was entirely that of the ship’s owners.
However, they had expressed themselves very satisfied with the arrangements, and his belief was that the passengers were equally happy.
Whilst no future visits have been arranged, he said there appeared to be no impediment to such a thing happening again.
The visit was made easier by the fact that ‘Clipper Odyssey’ carries its own gangway to let passengers on and off the ship.
The arrival of the cruise ship was also welcomed by Councillor David May, who said he hoped the visitors would be encouraged to return to Montrose in the future and spend more time enjoying the town’s attractions.
‘Clipper Odyssey’ was built in Japan to a Dutch company’s design, and was originally named ‘Oceanic Grace’. It initially cruised in Japanese waters.
It acquired a change of name in 1997 when it was bought by Spice Island Cruises for short trips in the Indonesian area and re-christened ‘Oceanic Odyssey’.
And just over a year later the vessel was bought by Clipper Cruise Line, with the change of name to ‘Clipper Odyssey’.
Cruises have been taking place over a wide area, including the Far East, Alaska and Australasia.