A new cruise berth has opened in Scrabster, Scotland
Scrabster Harbour officially opened the redeveloped St Ola Pier on December 9 2021. The redeveloped pier structure, at the Caithness port, offers a total of 500m of deepwater berthing, with a new 250m outer berthing face capable of accommodating larger vessels.
The quay offers a water depth of 9m at chart datum on the outer berth and 7.5m on the inner berths. With a total project investment of £18.9 million (€22.7 million), the development was delivered on time and on budget providing increased capacity and allowing the North Highland port to accommodate larger vessels.
The investment will allow Scrabster to access new opportunities especially in the cruise industry.
Jason Hamilton, harbour master Scrabster Harbour, says: “The Ola redevelopment and creation of a new main cruise berth is a key investment and demonstrates our commitment to improving our port facilities.
“The new berth will enable us to grow our cruise activity by attracting vessels that previously were unable to berth at Scrabster. We look forward to engaging with the cruise sector to promote the new facilities and the many tourist attractions available in the North of Scotland.”
Scrabster, the most Northerly port on the Scottish mainland was, for several decades, the port of choice for the British Queen and her family when they disembarked from the Royal Yacht Britannia every August to visit the Queen Mother at her Highland holiday home, Castle of Mey, 11 miles from Scrabster. Today, cruise line passengers can follow in their footsteps, as the Castle is open to visitors.
Situated within walking distance of Thurso, the second largest town in the Highlands, the Queen Elizabeth Pier has opened up the remote and beautiful landscape of the Far North to larger cruise vessels. The pier is 180 metres long, with a depth at Chart Datum of 8 metres. Deep-water anchorage is available within 0.2 nautical miles of the harbour..
The area has much to offer visitors, with a wealth of historic buildings, heritage centres and tours viewing the majestic North Coast and all the wildlife and natural heritage on offer.