Harbour Team Gearing Up For Double Cruise Ship Visit

The Minerva anchored off St Mary's

St Mary’s Harbourmaster, Dale Clark, says his team are gearing up for one of the biggest cruise ship days of the year.

Both the Marco Polo and the Minerva will be visiting on 27th July, with a total of 1,150 passengers on board.

Dale says they’re halfway through this year’s cruise season and the double visit will be welcomed by many businesses here experiencing lower visitor numbers. He said it’s fair to say that the cruise passengers seem to be replacing the day trippers from the Scillonian, with most going into town and spending money in cafes and shops.

A lot of time has been spent targeting cruise directors, especially through Destination Southwest, who market Scilly and Cornwall to the cruise companies.

From Radio Scilly

Dale Clark gives an update on recent events at the harbour

Dale said the harbour team are the ‘front of house’ who make sure the passengers are welcomed and the TIC staff also spend time on the harbour handing out brochures and maps.

They’ve also been tidying up the quay for the last few weeks including repainting the railings and cleaning up the side of the harbourmasters office with the installation of a new welcome sign.

Dale usually visits the bridge of the ships during their time here and he says virtually all of the captains have given favourable feedback, with passengers enjoying their visits, especially to St Martin’s and St Agnes which are not usually on the cruise passenger’s itineraries.

Dale says restrictions imposed by the tides can make it difficult to get to all off-islands, particularly Bryher, but he’s working hard to make sure the cruise directors know what’s on offer. And he says they’re already starting work on next year’s itinerary.

The number of yachts visiting this year is down a third on last year, and Dale puts this down to poor weather and a number of big festivals taking place in Northern France, where many regular sailors come from.