Scilly Is Biggest Cruise Ship Destination In Southwest

Scilly is now the biggest cruise ship destination in the Southwest and that’s a position the St Mary’s harbourmaster wants to maintain and build on.

Dale Clark says he’s proud that 38 cruise vessels have stopped here this year. There was just one cancellation but an additional last minute booking came in.

And only one boat was unable to bring passengers ashore, although they may have been able to if they had followed advice and waited for conditions to improve.

Dale says he’s been working closely with the Boatsmen’s Association and the Tourism staff to ensure passengers and cruise operators leave our islands with the best possible impression.

This year Dale has gone on board ships to meet captains and cruise directors and has spoken to them before they depart to gain valuable feedback.

Dale says the harbour team are acting less like port authority officials and aiming to provide customer service, such as helping passengers up the steps and giving information. Dale says the boatmen are skilled in bantering with visitors and his team have made an effort to chat and joke with cruise ship passengers.

Dale says that while Tresco’s attractions are obvious, they’ve also drawn up a list of St Mary’s activities and there is a lot to do. He’s heard from businesses that have benefitted from promotional information passed on to cruise companies.

Next month he’ll meet with the Tourism Cruise Ship Group to assess how this season has gone and discuss what can be improved in 2012.