First cruise ship docks in Loch Ryan Port, Cairnryan

Stena Line docking crew welcomes the Hebridean Princess at Loch Ryan Port.
Stena Line docking crew welcomes the Hebridean Princess at Loch Ryan Port.

Stena Line’s Loch Ryan Port, constructed in Cairnryan (Scotland) in 2011 has just welcomed its first cruise ship.

The Hebridean Princes visited Cairnryan Port on July 15 with 33 passengers and 37 crew on board.

Stena Line’s Captain George Combe had the pleasure of piloting the vessel during her short stay and her passengers enjoyed a trip to the Logan Botanic Gardens.

In 2006 and 2010 HM Queen Elizabeth II chartered Hebridean Princess for a ‘family holiday’ around the Scottish Islands to mark her 80th birthday. The Hebridean Princess was launched RMS Columba in 1964 and took up the Isle Of Mull service and the interiors were designed by a young Scottish designer, John McNeece, who was to go on to design the interiors of numerous cruise ships over the next 40 years.

She underwent a major refit at George Prior Engineering in Great Yarmouth in 1989, emerging as the luxury cruise ship, MV Hebridean Princess. She began operating on 26 May 1989 and provides luxury cruises around the Western Isles of Scotland. More recently, itineraries have been extended to include Ireland, the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and the Norwegian Fjords.

Andy Kane, Stena Line Port Services Manager Cairnryan and VT4 said: “Welcoming our first cruise ship was always going to be a special day for everyone at Loch Ryan Port but to have the Hebridean Princess berth with us added an extra layer of excitement and notoriety given her illustrious past. We were also delighted to welcome back ex Stena Line Captain Trevor Bailey, Captain of the Hebridean Princess and his passengers and crew and their very complimentary feedback on our welcome and facilities gives us a great boost in our quest to welcome more and more cruise ships to Loch Ryan Port in the years ahead.”