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Newly redeveloped pier at Scrabster welcomes first cruise ship

scrabster harbour
MS Hamburg berthed at the new St Ola Pier in Scrabster.

The first cruise liner has docked at the new Scrabster Harbour facilities, following an extensive multi-million pound redevelopment of the site.

The newly-opened St Ola Pier, located in Thurso Bay in Caithness, has welcomed its first vessel, MS Hamburg.

The vessel, carrying about 300 German passengers, docked at Scrabster on Tuesday May 3, following its journey around the west coast of Scotland from Oban.

MS Hamburg docked alongside the new 250-metre east berth on the pier before allowing passengers to disembark and visit Caithness.

It is part of a £19million project to overhaul the St Ola Pier, completed in late 2021, and a wider project at Scrabster totalling £40million. 

New facilities to encourage larger cruise ships

Passengers will now travel for the next leg of the journey along the coast down to Rosyth.

Scrabster Harbour is the northern-most commercial port in the UK and has undergone a decade-long transformation into a multi-purpose facility.

The new facilities will make it easier for larger ships such as cruise liners to berth in Scrabster, which will contribute to the local tourism industry.

It will also help the local fishing industry based in Scrabster Harbour to work towards more sustainable work practices, with goals of net-zero.

Jason Hamilton, harbour master at Scrabster Harbour Trust, said: “It is great to have our first call on the redeveloped pier.

“The additional berthing and quayside facilities are part of our plan to attract and service the cruise industry.

“We are working hard with local partners to promote Scrabster and our local attractions to the cruise industry.”

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