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Tall ship Sea Cloud Spirit visits Cromarty Firth, but is not what you might think


By Philip Murray

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The tall ship Sea Cloud Spirit at dock in Invergordon on Monday morning.
The tall ship Sea Cloud Spirit at dock in Invergordon on Monday morning.

Two very different faces of the cruise ship world came together in the Cromarty Firth this morning.

People with views of the firth may have spotted a three-mast tall ship currently at dock at Invergordon.

The vessel, an exclusive 136-bed passenger ship known as the Sea Cloud Spirit, is the only sail-powered cruise ship in the world which is still sailed by hand.

However, while it may look like something from another age, the ship is deceptively young - having only launched three years ago.

And it was joined this morning by a much more typical cruise sight - the 1000-passenger Spirit of Adventure.

The cruise ship Spirit of Adventure can be seen passing by the three-masts of the Sea Cloud Spirit as the former comes into port at Invergordon shortly before 7.30am on Monday morning.
The cruise ship Spirit of Adventure can be seen passing by the three-masts of the Sea Cloud Spirit as the former comes into port at Invergordon shortly before 7.30am on Monday morning.

But despite their very different appearances the two ships are almost exactly the same age, with Spirit of Adventure only launching in 2020 and venturing on its maiden voyage in 2021.

The vessels are visiting during a busy time for the cruise ship market in the Highlands - with no fewer than eight different ships set to stop in Invergordon between now and the end of this weekend.

In all, almost 13,500 passengers are set to pass through the port this week alone.


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