The Princess Royal was radiant in the Granite City today as she officially opened the new South Harbour.
Aberdeen’s new £420 million South Harbour expansion has put the city on the map, inviting massive cruise ships travelling around the British Isles.
The first cruise ship docked in the harbour back in May, and the city has seen an influx in tourism ever since.
Today, the harbour was officially opened by Princess Anne, who unveiled a specially designed accropode to commemorate the opening.
Accropode blocks are wave-dispersing concrete blocks designed to resist the action of waves on breakwaters and coastal structures.
More than 9,000 have been laid to subdue waves and create a calm atmosphere in the harbour.
Princess Anne officially opened the new South Harbour
The accropode was designed by local artist Craig Fisher
Speaking to The Press & Journal, he said: “I was invited to submit a design for the competition, so I did. A week later I found out I had won.”
“I’m so honoured to be here and to meet Her Royal Highness.”
The South Harbour expansion project is the UK’s largest maritime infrastructure project.
The special event marked Princess Anne’s first visit to the Port of Aberdeen in more than 25 years.
Aberdeen’s landmark giant letters also welcomed visitors to the Port of Aberdeen’s new South Harbour.
The 6ft tall letters were moved from the Castlegate to the dock at the new harbour.
Iconic Aberdeen letters brought to new harbour
Following their temporary stay at the South Harbour, the letters are yet to find their next home in the city.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “We are delighted, on behalf of city partners, to bring the iconic Aberdeen letters to the splendid new South Harbour to mark its official Royal opening this weekend.
“This is exactly the kind of occasion the letters were designed to support. We thank the Port of Aberdeen for their support with this initiative and wish them every success.”
Bob Sanguinetti, Port of Aberdeen’s CEO also said: “We’re honoured that Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal is joining us for this monumental occasion.
“Port of Aberdeen is the UK’s oldest business and we’re now officially opening the country’s newest harbour.
“Aberdeen’s expanded port promises a vibrant future for energy, trade, and tourism across Scotland on the road to net zero, unlocking new jobs and attracting investment to the region.”
Managing Director and Major Projects at Scottish Enterprise, Neil Francis told the Press & Journal: “It has been inspirational to see the combination of hard from 2011 to today.
“It will be beneficial to Aberdeen.”
More than 250 stakeholders attended the opening event
Speaking at the event, Deputy First Minister Shona Robison said: “As the largest new marine infrastructure project in the UK, Port of Aberdeen’s South Harbour will have a huge positive impact on the north-east of Scotland and will be a national asset of strategic significance to Scotland.
“The Port of Aberdeen is at the forefront of the vital transition to net zero.
“It will be key to helping pivot our economy towards new decarbonised technologies and fuels, not least in facilitating the growth in offshore wind and developing tidal wave research.
“Aberdeen South Harbour has the potential to capitalise on the existing, strong energy supply chain located in the north-east of Scotland.”
Our photographer Kenny Elrick was there to capture the moment Princess Anne opened the site with more than 200 guests in attendance.