Leith-Edinburgh (Newhaven-Rosyth-Queensferry, Scotland)

Cruise Port schedule, live map, terminals, news

Leith-Edinburgh cruise port

Ireland - UK - British Isles

Local Time
2022-09-25 12:34

min: 41 °F (5 °C) / max: 59 °F (15 °C) 58°F
Wind: 255°/ 7.1 m/s  Gust: 11.5 m/sWind: 255°/ 7.1 m/s  Gust: 11.5 m/sMod. breeze
7.1 m/s
Min / Max Temperature59 °F / 15 °C
41 °F / 6 °C
  Port Map

Edinburgh's principal cruise port is Port Leith, but some ships may alternatively stop at Newhaven (tender cruise port). Both seaports are located on Firth of Forth’s southern shore. Firth of Forth (mainland Scotland) is River Forth's estuary. Aberdeen Harbour is approx 100 mi (160 km) away. Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city. By population (around 0,5 million, metro 1,35 million) it is ranked country's 2nd largest - after Glasgow. Edinburgh is also UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting international and UK tourist with its historic sights, castles, numerous entertainment and activities options, the annual Edinburgh Festival.

Forth Ports (Edinburgh's cruise port operator company) manages a total of 7 UK seaport terminals and anchorages - Leith, Dundee, London-Tilbury, plus the anchorages Rosyth, South Queensferry and Newhaven (England). In 2018, Edinburgh received 114 cruise ship calls with 150,000+ tourists (passengers and crew). In 2019, the number grew to 155,000.


Port Leith (Edinburgh)

Port Leith (locode GBLEI) is to the northeast of Edinburgh City and is within city's council area. Leith is one of Edinburgh's most profitable enterprises, with annual cargo shipping capacity over 1.5 million tons.

Port Leith (Scotland) cruise port to Edinburgh

Leith Docks became Edinburgh's port in early-19th-century, when there were built numerous facilities serving the shipbuilding and ship repair industries. During 19th-century, Leith also became a major port serving Scotland's herring export trade.

Currently, Port Leith is Scotland's biggest enclosed (harbor) deepwater port, with capability to handle vessels up to 50,000 DWT (deadweight tons). Port Leith provides easy access to major roads in Scotland, including A1 highway, Edinburgh by-pass, M8 and M9. It offers road and rail connections and is perfectly located for North Sea shipping operations of any kind. Port's busy cruising season is March through October, with roundtrip itineraries offered mainly by large liners operated by CunardPrincessMSC, Costa.

Port Rosyth (Edinburgh)

An alternative cruise port for Edinburgh is Port Rosyth, but it is rarely used. Large-sized liners usually anchor near South Queensferry (opposite to Rosyth), from where their passengers are tendered ashore. Port Rosyth is located across Forth Railway Bridge, approx 35-min drive distance from Edinburgh's downtown. Rosyth is a ferry port used by Blue Star Ferries.

Next photo shows South Queensferry's cruise ship anchorage area.

Port Rosyth (Scotland) cruise port South Queensferry

South Queensferry (aka "The Ferry") is a small port town located approx 10 mi (16 km) to the northwest of Edinburgh downtown. The town is between Forth Railway Bridge and Forth Road Bridge. The prefix "South" is used to distinguish it from the town "North Queensferry". Both towns are named for the established by Queen Margaret (aka Margaret of Wessex, 1045-1093) ferry service between them. The service was discontinued in 1964, when the Forth Road Bridge was inaugurated.

Port Rosyth Dockyard

The above photo shows Rosyth Dockyard (part of the seaport). Rosyth Dockyard is a naval dockyard owned and operated by Babcock Marine Ltd (2007-founded subsidiary of Babcock International Group / multinational corporation). Before the company's privatization in 1987, the large shipyard complex was named "Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth" and was operated as British Government-owned and contractor-managed facility. In 1997, Babcock International purchased the shipyard. Currently, this is the shipbuilding yard for the UK's newest and largest aircraft carriers of the Queen Elizabeth-class.

In 2017, the Fred Olsen-owned ship Black Watch offered a total of 8 cruises leaving roundtrip from Rosyth. Operated in the period August 14 through October 14, the roundtrip itineraries included 7-night Norwegian Fjords, 10-night Northern European cities, 16-night Canary Islands and Madeira. Also roundtrip from Rosyth, In 2017 the company offered (for the first time ever) 2 river cruises. The itineraries were themed "French Rivers" and "German Waterways".

According to statistical data provided by Peter Wilson (cruiseforth.com), for season 2019, from all the 110 scheduled to visit Edinburgh cruise liners, 34 were booked at Newhaven, 29 at Rosyth, 25 at Leith and 22 at Queensferry.

Leith-Edinburgh cruise terminal

Smaller-sized cruise ships to Edinburgh dock at Leith port's cruise terminal located approx 3 mi (5 km) from downtown Edinburgh. Cruise vessels enter the port from River Forth's estuary. The dock can accommodate vessels with max LOA length 720 ft (220 m).

Newhaven UK is a tender cruise port, meaning passengers are tendered between the anchored ship and the quay (~10-min ride). Newhaven Port Authority complimentary provides bus transfer to Ocean Terminal's shopping mall. At the quay, there are a taxi rank and a bus station.

Port Leith is an important destination for Northern Europe's ship cruising industry. The port handles around 40 cruise vessels and 20,000 passengers annually. Leith Cruise Terminal provides good facilities for turnarounds (roundthrips) and transit calls.  Its central location is convenient for shore excursions and tours to Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.

Leith cruise port terminal

The cruise ship terminal building features a modern design and has all the necessary passenger facilities, including waiting area, phone, internet, toilets. More amenities are offered by the "Ocean Terminal" shopping mall, located at 5-min walking distance from the Leith cruise port terminal. The mall has shops, banking facilities, restaurants, cafes, car parking, and is served by Lothian Buses lines 11, 22, 34, 35, 36. Lothian Buses started the direct service "X99 Cruiselink" Queensferry-Edinburgh (in 2018) and Newhaven-Edinburgh (in 2019).

At Port Leith are available taxis and shuttle buses. The port's parking area is adjacent to the cruise terminal and can accommodate up to 450 vehicles (cars and tour buses). The closest to the cruise port airport (Edinburgh Airport) is about 30 min ride. The closest to the port railway station (Waverley) is about 15-min ride from the cruise terminal.

At Ocean Terminal is also the permanently berthed Royal Yacht Britannia (officially "HMY Britannia"). This is Queen Elizabeth II's former royal yacht, operated in the period 1954-1997.

Leith port - Royal Yacht Britannia

Large cruise ships dock at Newhaven (Edinburgh City's district) located between Leith and Granton. It is approx 3 km (2 ml) north of downtown Edinburgh. These liners actually anchor near Newhaven and their passengers are transported between the anchorage point and the tender pier via tender boats. This distance is approx 1,7 mi (3 km) or about 15-min ride.

Newhaven Edinburgh cruise port

At Port Rosyth, due to the lack of public transportation service, the available ways for cruise ship passengers are taxis (at the passenger / ferry terminal building) and eventually shuttle bus service provided by the cruise company.

Most cruise operators offer shuttles to Edinburgh's downtown. This service is at fee pp. The local bus operator Cramond Coaches provides an alternative shuttle service to downtown. Cramond Coaches staff will be waiting at the pier. Their buses go to Charlotte Square, from where passengers can catch the green bus (hop-on / hop-off) for the popular Edinburgh Tour. Cruise line's bus shuttle offers 25-min travel to Waterloo Place (a green bus stop).

Leith-Edinburgh tours, shore excursions, hotels

City Tours and Shore Excursions

  • Edinburgh castle: the castle is the most popular landmark in the city. It is two kilometres from Edinburgh cruise port. It is located on a volcanic rock’s top. The view from the highest point offers a panorama of the Firth of Forth and Fife. Inside you can see the Great Hall, the St Margaret’s Chapel and the Stone of Destiny.
  • The Royal Mile: the one-mile long road connects the Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, both Royal Residences.
  • Royal Botanic Garden: the second oldest (after Oxford’s) British botanic garden. It dates from 1670 and was originally medicinal plants garden. It is located in the north of the city and is amazing, especially in the spring time.
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival: the world’s largest art festival is held for three weeks every August.
  • National Museum of Scotland: located on Chambers Street. It was reopened in July 2011 after a renovation for £47 million. It houses 16 galleries and displays more than 8,000 different objects.
  • Camera Obscura: spend a really fun time! Located in Victorian rooftop chamber near the Edinburgh Castle’ entrance.

Port Leith-Edinburgh cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Leith-Edinburgh, Newhaven-Rosyth-Queensferry, Scotland. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

2 September, 2022
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Star08:0018:00
3 September, 2022
Viking Cruises Cruises cruise lineViking Mars
3 September, 2022
Princess Cruises Cruises cruise lineEmerald Princess07:0019:00
4 September, 2022
Scenic Cruises Cruises cruise lineScenic Eclipse
4 September, 2022
Costa Cruises Cruises cruise lineCosta Fortuna09:0008:00
9 September, 2022
Holland America Cruises cruise linems Rotterdam08:0018:00
11 September, 2022
Oceania Cruises Cruises cruise lineOceania Sirena16:0022:00
12 September, 2022
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Dawn07:0018:00
15 September, 2022
Princess Cruises Cruises cruise lineEmerald Princess07:0019:00
18 September, 2022
Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises cruise lineNorwegian Dawn07:0018:00
19 September, 2022
Regent Seven Seas Cruises Cruises cruise lineSeven Seas Splendor08:0018:00
20 September, 2022
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Cruises cruise lineFred Olsen Balmoral
21 September, 2022
Phoenix Reisen Cruises cruise lineAmadea08:0018:00
23 September, 2022
Viking Cruises Cruises cruise lineViking Mars
25 September, 2022
Mystic Cruises Cruises cruise lineCMV Vasco da Gama-Nicko08:0018:00
27 September, 2022
Princess Cruises Cruises cruise lineEmerald Princess07:0019:00
28 September, 2022
Seabourn Cruises Cruises cruise lineSeabourn Ovation08:0021:00

Leith-Edinburgh - user reviews and comments

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