Scillonian Boarding Procedures Haven’t Changed Says Steamship Company

scillonian 2012The Steamship Company says they haven’t changed procedures for boarding the Scillonian III.

Some islanders have voiced an opinion recently that there appears to be a more rigid enforcement of check-in and boarding times. They’ve claimed that the company has been inflexible when passengers have arrived on St Mary’s Quay a few minutes after check-in has closed, but when there’s still around 20 minutes before the vessel’s departure.

The company says that nothing has changed since last season and their policy of requiring passengers to board no less than 30 minutes before departure was in place in 2013.

In a statement to Radio Scilly, they say that they have to allow sufficient time to board and meet scheduled departure times. This avoids past problems when “surges” of passengers turned up shortly before each sailing.

The company say tens of thousands of people use the boat each season and they haven’t had more than a handful of complaints about the procedure. They say it’s designed to work in the best interests of all the customers.


8 Responses to Scillonian Boarding Procedures Haven’t Changed Says Steamship Company

  1. Rod Ward May 5, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    I am sure that the organisation that brings in probably 90% of Mr. Hicks’s customers to the islands is delighted to read such a well constructed and positive comment.
    Rather than expecting you to perhaps pick up these day trippers at 15.30 in order to get them back in time for the boat, I expect the Steamship Company will alter their summer sailing schedule just to keep you happy.

  2. Alec Hicks May 3, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Don’t no what will happen when we have there day trippers on tresco with 15.45 pick up at newgrimsby with a low ish tide we can struggle to get back to st marys by 16.15 , forgot they don’t bring any any more, do radio scilly pass any of this feed back on to the people that can make changes. Alec

  3. 'scilly visitor' May 2, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Last June we patiently queued on the quay to board (with a lot of other folk ) a very long queue with additional passengers from the airport because of the weather conditions.A boat came alongside and the passengers made straight for the office door and remarked it was locked ! We informed them that boarding hadn’t started and all the people were queueing and had been for a considerable time ! ” but we are from Tresco and Ollie and Tristan said to go straight on ! ” There was a chorus of ” Oh no you don’t ” In view of some of the other comments, I rest my case !!

  4. Edna May 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Given the cost and time it takes to travel to and from Scilly, it is unreasonable that they are refusing passengers arriving minutes after check in closes and maybe twenty minutes before she sails.

    Also, I notice they no longer accept unaccompanied luggage on the Scillonian, insisting it goes on the Gry, which does not sail both ways each day. This means that people who have more baggage than the 15kg for skybus are forced to travel aboard the ship. This includes campers, divers etc. most people are unable to forward luggage on the Gry as this would mean an extra day/ night spent in Penance (and that is not a typo…but the correct name for any extra time spent there).
    I know people who really suffer on the ship (and always fly, with their camping luggage on the boat) and are now forced to endure it, or just not visit any more. This is despite booking boat/ flight with the same company on the same day. Presumably a security measure….and yet no checks are made re tickets as you hand over your bags on Penzance quay…or as you load them into containers onto St Mary’s. So in theory unaccompanied luggage could be put on the ship, and I walk away to get my flight!

    Lastly, they would never have turned back for anyone staying anywhere other than Tresco…I’m guessing a phone call from Tresco Estate office did the trick?

  5. Just a local May 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    The Scillonian does what she wants. It says check in closes half an hour before departure Pz end but closes 15 minutes before departure st Mary’s end. Someone was a bit late not very long ago, but still 5 minutes before the check in time was closing, but the Scillonian was actually departing!!! That’s 20 minutes earlier than the advertised departure time!! Just be clear and consistent , the same on both sides please.

  6. Nimis non est satis May 1, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Is this the same company that turned the ship around for some Tresco people last year? One rule for some another for others. That said their has to be a cut off time and should be adhered to. Then if the boat is ready to sail early why not depart? Although I love scilly I do not love the scillonian and would rather my time on her was at a minimum. I was on Scilly last week, left a day early on Friday as we were told that Sat sailing from Pz was in jepordy from people in Pz. Apart from the lack of comms from ISSCo I really can’t complain of the service and how the office dealt with our last minute transfer – and the early sailing wasn’t delayed by people turning up after check in!

    • DLL May 1, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      They turned back because they again sailed early.
      And if you go by what they say “and everyone’s on board the ship can sail” then how did they not spot they were 11 people short? Booked, tickets, & paid.
      Computer error or human input. All tickets have to be done in the main street now- no tickets on the quay, so they know numbers, names, phone numbers etc
      Departure time 16:30, 15mins before is 16:15 so how is the gangway out before the check-in period is close?

  7. DLL May 1, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Then why is the Scillonian leaving the quay anywhere between 16:16 to 16:22 if its sailing on time? The check-in close time is set to early if the ship is ready to sail 15mins early… and then does.
    Not really appealing to day-trippers leaving early from PZ and Scilly.
    Weds 30th May she was passing Hats Buoy at 16:31.
    The Scillonian used to be the one thing you could bank on in Scilly, it has now gone the same way as most of Scilly….”that ‘ll do” mentality.
    And you expect people here to fight to draw in more visitors when the only company dealing with passenger movements can’t be bother to run to a schedule?