Massive MSC Cruise Ship Visits Scottish Terminal 

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The 181,541-ton MSC Virtuosa—one of the largest cruise ships in the MSC Cruises fleet today—called upon Glasgow’s Greenock Ocean Terminal on Monday, June 5, 2023.

The terminal also celebrated its inaugural double turnaround—with two distinct groups of travelers departing on the same day.

MSC Virtuosa Impresses Locals in Scotland

MSC Virtuosa is one MSC Cruises’ largest ships and is the fourth in the Meraviglia-generation fleet. It was constructed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and delivered to MSC Cruises in February 2021.

With dimensions of 331.3m (1087 feet) in length, 43m (141 feet) in width, and clocking in at 181,541 tons, the ship boasts 19 decks and can accommodate up to 6,334 passengers.

The arrival of the gigantic cruise liner brought in 4,218 passengers to Greenock Ocean Terminal, making it one of the highest passenger counts for a single cruise call in the history of the Peel Port terminal.

MSC Virtuosa Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Wayleebird /

“It’s always a pleasure welcoming any of our cruise ships to Greenock, and liners don’t get much more eye-catching than the MSC Virtuosa and Le Champlain,” Clydeport Director Jim McSporran commented.

“It’s lovely to be welcoming so many to the terminal today and…it’s shaping up to be a great year—and we hope all the guests arriving today enjoy their visit to Scotland,” McSporran said.

In addition to welcoming the MSC Virtuosa, the port saw the arrival of the much more petite Le Champlain on the same day (June 5) as well.

Greenock Ocean Terminal’s First-Ever “Double Turnaround”

The port celebrated a significant milestone with its first-ever “double turnaround” when Le Champlain arrived, along with the enormous MSC Virtuosa.

The luxury cruise ship Le Champlain, launched in 2018, and coming out of Romania, has a capacity for 180 guests and was built by the Fincantieri subsidiary Vard.

The port witnessed a remarkable event as two separate sets of passengers got ready to embark on their journeys from Greenock. This coincided with the arrival of the luxurious Le Champlain, just mentioned, which brought in an additional 140 guests. 

And of course, MSC Virtuosa also added to the excitement and bustling atmosphere at the port today.

A Good Year for Greenock

The port anticipates a significant influx of travelers this year, with an estimated 150,000 passengers and 38,000 crew members projected to pass through. 

The port operator has also announced that this year is poised to be its busiest on record—with 91 cruise liners scheduled to dock at the newly established pontoon in the Inverclyde town. This represents a bump of over 25 percent compared to the previous year.

Cruise Ship in Greenock, Scotland
Photo Courtesy: Peel Ports Group

“We really are on the crest of a wave with yet more ship and passenger records being broken this year as we work alongside Peel Ports and our other partners to grow Greenock and Inverclyde as a premier cruise destination,” City Councilor Stephen McCabe remarked.

“A key component of that is the new visitor center which will be opening soon to complement the dedicated cruise ship berth which is already successfully up and running,” McCabe added.

This £19.2 million state-of-the-art cruise ship visitor terminal project, spearheaded by Inverclyde Council, is a significant component of the £1 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, financed by both the Scottish and UK governments. The visitor center is slated to be completed later this year.

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