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Caithness News Bulletins June 2005

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Queen Mary 2 Cunard Boats & Sea

Sunday 19 June - Invergordon

One of the most famous cruise liners in the world, the Queen Mary 2 will visit Invergordon on Sunday when between 20,000 - 30,000 people are expected to converge to admire Cunard's new flagship which is the largest, longest, tallest, widest and most expensive passenger liner ever built.

Her maiden visit to Invergordon will be the only stop in Scotland she makes so to mark the occasion the local Community have organised a Gala Day with live music, exhibitions and a craft fair to entertain passengers and the crowds of people who plan to welcome the world's largest cruise ship.

A Park and Ride service will be in place from 8am to take spectators from the old Invergordon smelter site to the High Street. All traffic coming to Invergordon should follow the signs on the A9 trunk road and turn off the A9 at the junction with the Tomich Restaurant.

Drivers should also note that on Sunday (19 June) the High Street, from its junction with Castle Avenue through to Munro Place, will be closed to all vehicles from 6am until 6pm.

Local Highland Councillor, John Connell said: "We are expecting thousands of spectators from all over the Highlands to congregate in Invergordon for this special occasion. It will be quite a sight as the world's largest cruise ship comes in to dock past the Sutors early on Sunday morning.

"To entertain the crowds, members of the local community and volunteer groups have arranged a variety of entertainment to run throughout the day.  As well as the very best of traditional music, dancing and craft demonstrations, the work of local artists will be on display in the Invergordon Art Centre and the High Street will be turned into a craft fair with lots of interesting stalls.

"Passengers who come ashore will be guaranteed a very warm Highland welcome whatever the weather. Due to the large numbers of people we are expecting, I would urge all drivers to take advantage of the Park and Ride and to follow the signs that will be on the A9 trunk road."

While visiting Invergordon on Sunday, passengers and spectators will also be able to visit the Alness Vintage Car Rally, held at Alness Academy Playing Fields, which is the biggest classic, vintage and steam rally in the Highlands of Scotland.

The QM2 will be arriving at 7.00am where she will dock at Admiralty Pier until 6.00pm, allowing many of her 2,300 passengers to take shore trips to visitor centres and places of interest.

For anyone who would like to see the ship as she makes her way to Invergordon she is scheduled to be off Balintore at approximately 0600, off Nairn at 0615, off Cromarty/Nigg at 0630 and off Invergordon at 0700. All times are approximate.

In the evening she will depart from Invergordon at 1800 and be off Cromarty/Nigg at 1820, off Nairn at 1840, off Balintore at 1855 and off Burghead at 1915. Again all times are approximate.

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