The CruiseForth Project
The CruiseForth Project was established by the local tourism association in West Fife in 2012, to encourage visitor businesses to work better together, and to promote the visibility of Dunfermline and West Fife to cruise passengers arriving at Rosyth. Over the 10 years since then, the project has grown to cover all ports for Edinburgh (adding Leith, Newhaven and South Queensferry, with some support in Dundee too), involves around 50 volunteers, and has become an established contributor to the cruise industry engaging with businesses across East Central Scotland and beyond.
In 2022 the cruise season recovered better than many had expected, with over 100 cruise calls to the Forth, and increasing passenger occupancy as concerns over the Covid Virus lessened.
At Rosyth, the local welcome and assistance with local information, maps and onward travel, provided by the volunteers was much appreciated by the ships, the port authority, and the passengers and crew. This benefited local businesses including the regular local taxi drivers who attend the port. In addition to local runs to Inverkeithing Station and Dunfermline, many longer journeys were facilitated via the volunteers' interaction and advice. The calls of Viking Mars and Fred Olsen Balmoral in September, each over two days, provided unprecedented demand for the Dunfermline Courtesy Bus service. 250 passengers and crew from the Mars, and around 450 from the Balmoral, tested the resources of the volunteer team to the extent that an additional 61 seat bus had to be borrowed from the Shore Excursion company to cope with the demand.
Similar assistance has been provided at other ports, and information shared with visitor businesses across Fife, the Lothians and Tayside.
Looking forward, CruiseForth is already preparing for 2023, identifying new cruise friendly businesses across East Central Scotland ready to receive cruise passengers