A West Kilbride travel agent has hit out the contoversial cruiseship cancellation to Greenock last night which meant Scottish passengers were not allowed to disembark.

Travel experts have questioned why a cruiseship was not allowed to stop off on the west coast of Scotland while the permission has been given for fans to attend football matches at Euro 2020 in Glasgow with no testing put in place.

The MSC Virtuosa's operator explained that Scottish government Covid rules prevented it from entering the port of Greenock.

The government has said domestic cruises can only restart when restrictions in all of Scotland reach level one. Inverclyde is currenty in level one.

They say the decision was based on the risks "between both cruises and the wider travel context".

However, Linda Hill, who owns LAH Travel in West Kilbride, described the decision as "another nail in the coffin for the travel industry".

She told BBC Scotland's Drivetime programme: "The cruise industry has obviously been very hard hit over the past 18 months.

"But we had seen a way to start, very safely, some UK cruises with lots of very safe protocols including limited numbers on board.

"This is a brand new cruise ship which was coming to Greenock tomorrow and there was great excitement to see such a fabulous cruise liner in our own waters.

"Sadly, the Scottish government has said passengers cannot embark or disembark at Greenock. The sailing is still going ahead - it's just missing out Scotland."

The 330m-long Virtuosa would have been the largest cruise ship to ever visit the town.

The giant vessel is scheduled to berth 10 more times over the summer but visits scheduled for next Wednesday and on June 23 have been cancelled too."

Largs News columnist George Wall also hit out at the move. He said: "My opinion is that  this is absolutely absurd stopping this cruise ship docking in Greenock.

"Everyone on the ship is a UK resident, fully vaccinated, and recently tested negative for covid. Why would the Scottish Government do this.

"I just do not see any consistency any more in what we are doing. This is just the first cruise ship of many that was supposed to come in across Scotland."

The Scottish Passenger Agents Association (SPAA) confirmed that Wednesday's scheduled stop in Greenock had been cancelled. The ship was due to dock in Greenock at about 09:30, departing at 20:00 the same day.

The industry body said the situation meant Scots on board the vessel were effectively "barred from setting foot in their own country". Passengers were not be able to get on the ship at Greenock either.

The Scottish Passenger Agents Association reported that it understood 75% of passengers on board were fully vaccinated, and had recently tested negative.