Thanks For Scilly’s Cruise Ambassadors After Another Record Year

Ambassador photocallThe Islands’ Partnership hosted a lunch at St Mary’s Hall Hotel yesterday for its volunteer team of Cruise Ship Welcome Hosts who have greeted 43 ships this season – a record for Scilly.

More than 18,000 cruise passengers went ashore to St Mary’s, Tresco and the other islands, bringing more than £700,000 into Scilly’s economy.

The final cruise liner of 2015, the Albatross, left the islands last Saturday and 35 ships have already confirmed to visit in 2016.

David Jackson, the Executive Director of the Islands’ Partnership, says our cruise ship ambassadors play a crucial role.

David says, “we know that passengers genuinely appreciate the welcome they receive. What is also pleasing is that our ambassadors really enjoy the experience of going on board ships to help visitors to Scilly make the most of the islands whilst here.”

Prior to the lunch, the volunteers met with the Islands’ Partnership team and Harbourmaster Dale Clark to discuss their experiences of going aboard the ships and being on the quaysides to greet passengers and offer information packs.

They also considered how Scilly’s Cruise Ship Ambassador programme could be enhanced for next season.

Ideas and suggestions included an improvement to the ‘goody bags’ and a ‘things to do’ handout for passengers.

They have also suggested working more closely with boat operators and other guides to create opportunities for additional organised tours and off-island visits from St Mary’s quayside.

“Of the 18,000 passengers who came ashore this season, only a relatively small proportion went on pre-booked tours arranged by the cruise ships,” says David.

“So there is definitely an opportunity to improve the product offer for our cruise passengers, particularly in terms of getting them to the other islands to experience Scilly as a whole and not just Hugh Town on St Mary’s.”

Dale Clark says this has been an excellent first year for the Cruise Ship Ambassador Programme, and everyone, from the Ship’s Agent Gerald Thompson and the St Mary’s Boatmen to the Islands’ Partnership and the Ambassadors themselves, has worked really well together to create a lasting impression for the passengers.

Dale says, “the commitment and enthusiasm of the ambassadors really adds value to the visitor experience, not just with the cruise ship passengers, but also with the cruise operators themselves.

“As the programme develops for 2016, I am sure we will have another record-breaking year – which is fantastic news for Scilly.”