Slow Start For First Scillonian Sunday Sailing

scillonian gangwayToday’s Scillonian III sailing is expected to be sold out. But the planned 10-week Sunday sailing of the ferry started slowly yesterday.

Just 92 passengers took up the half-price offer traveling to Scilly, and 77 left St Mary’s.

The Sunday and Saturday services aren’t designed for day-trippers as the boat is turned around in just two hours at St Mary’s.

Steamship Company Commercial Manager Nick Sanders says a longer visit to the islands would create staffing problems, as employees would be working well over their weekly hours.

But some people feel there needs to be a longer stay on Scilly so day-trippers can come at the weekend.

Nick Morley from Falmouth was sailing back yesterday. He felt the good weather would be a perfect opportunity for people who live in Cornwall to pop over for the day, but says the sailing schedule doesn’t make that possible.

He was happy to be able to buy a Sunday paper on the islands though.

Some islanders who feel Scilly could benefit from the short break trade support Sunday travel. They argue that people who have to be at work on Monday can come for the weekend.

Lisa Williams, who operates the Bylet, says Sunday sailings have brought her extra business with some of her guests departing yesterday so they could be back at their desks in London today.

And she says she’s already got bookings with Sunday changeovers for later in the season.

She doesn’t mind a one-night stay. Lisa feels that any extra trade during a quieter year should be welcomed and says people who come for just a couple of days often spend more by cramming in as much as they can during their stay.

Avril Mumford said islanders did make the most of the chance to buy Sunday papers. The paper shop stayed open until 6.30pm.

Nick Sanders of the Steamship Co says they will assess the success of Sunday sailings in the autumn.