Skip to content

Invergordon Cruise Ships – Are There Any Local Benefits?

This article was inspired after hearing, yet again, that there are no benefits from Invergordon cruise ships.

At a recent public meeting, there was mention of all the cruise ship guests ‘getting on buses’ and disappearing out of town.

Having worked with cruise ships, as a dispatcher and a tour guide, I have a little experience of working with these ships so thought I would share information that might be helpful in relation to this.

Invergordon Cruise Ships – Doesn’t Everyone Take An Excursion?

As a general rule when cruise ships are visiting not everyone goes on an excursion. There are many reasons for this for example;

  • Excursions are usually optional (at extra cost) and to do every excursion available on a cruise could cost more than the cruise itself.
  • Some guests like to stay on board because they enjoy using the facilities of the ship.
  • Some guests like to explore on foot when they can. At some ports, this isn’t always possible but with Invergordon it is easy to do this.
  • The more times a ship calls the fewer people take ship organised excursions. This is because passengers find out how to get around and explore locally and share this information on discussion forums such as Cruise Critic.
  • Some people may have been to the port call before and taken the excursion.

There are lots of reasons why people don’t go on excursions.

invergordon cruise ships post

Invergordon Cruise Ships

What Are The Numbers?

I thought it might be helpful to share the numbers for a recent ship call.

The ship had around 2,500 passengers on board.

Of those 2,500 passengers, around 1100 took excursions.

That’s less than 50% of guests taking excursions and that is fairly normal.

If a ship is calling for the first time this may be higher but it drops down again if the ship calls more often.

cruise critic find out more

Invergordon Cruise Ships

Everyone Disappears for the Whole Day

Cruises include meals. Given that guests have paid for these meals, in the cost of their cruise, they don’t like to miss them.

That’s why the majority of excursions that people take are half day tours.

For the ship above out of the 1100 people or so taking excursions only just over 300 took a full day excursion.

So that’s over 700 people who went on a trip and still had half a day in Invergordon, plus the 1300 guests who were in port for the whole day.

The majority of guests coming to Invergordon who take tours will take half day tours.

(Just for clarity the figures above do not relate to the ship shown in the pictures for this post)


These numbers don’t include private tours that people have booked themselves but the total numbers for these are nowhere near the numbers for ship organised tours.

Here are my top money saving articles to help you get saving right away

Invergordon Cruise Ships

Numbers for 2023

By the end of 2023, we will have had over 238,000 – that’s 61 times the population of Invergordon (3,900).

Of those 238,000 visitors about 35-40,000 will go on a full day excursion. The rest will either be in port all day or take a full day excursion so that’s 198,000 people that we can attract to Invergordon.

invergordon cruise port half day loch ness tour

Invergordon Cruise Ships

Don’t Forget the Crew

The numbers above don’t include crew coming into Invergordon. They often need supplies such as medical items, clothing, and snacks – pot noodles are very popular!

In 2023 there will be 91,0000 crew visiting Invergordon on top of the passenger figures above.

Invergordon walking tour small

Invergordon Cruise Ships

Local Jobs

Those tours that run all require tour guides and drivers. Many of these people are local. The sandwiches for the full day tours are made by a local company in Invergordon.

All those tours need people to organise and dispatch them. There are 6 people who live locally that do tour dispatching (including me).

But there are more jobs including;

  • Pilots to bring the boats in (I know one pilot and he lives locally)
  • Port crew to secure the boats when they arrive, attach the gangway, etc and do the same when the ship leaves – most of these people are local
  • Ships agents, security staff, and stewards
  • Taxi drivers, local tour companies. One local tour company is working with 10 of their own guides this year to provide tours.
  • The ship also requires servicing while it is in port so there are skips to be emptied for example which require local companies to do this


At a recent public meeting, I heard the point being made that we should be more positive about Invergordon – perhaps we could try being a little more positive about the benefits of cruise ships too?

The majority of tour guides take coaches down Invergordon High Street and point out where things are and how to get to the town centre.

Author BioMelanie Newdick, Professional Traveller

  • +36 years travelling for work. Visited +40 countries (many multiple times)
  • Stayed in over 700 hotels. Taken +9,500 on coach holidays
  • Check all out my best money saving resources

You Might Also Like

If you have found this article you might also like;

9 Invergordon Restaurants and Takeaways and What to Try – includes suggestions from locals

Invergordon Cruise Terminal – Helpful Things to Know

You can find lots more information on my Invergordon Cruise Port page

free ebook signup

Further Reading

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!