52 Cruise Ships Expected In 2016 And Islands’ Partnership Say They’re Prepared

cruise shipThe tourism body the Islands’ Partnership say that they are fully prepared for the 2016 cruise ship season, which gets underway tomorrow. 300 German passengers are visiting on Fram.

New ‘Passport to Scilly’ folders have been designed and printed over the winter.

One of the aims of the new information packs is to encourage passengers to venture further than Hugh Town, enjoy independent travel to the off-islands, and experience more of a taste of the “real” Scilly.

“Our goal is to give cruise ship passengers a really warm Scillonian welcome and the best visitor experience that we can, so that they will be encouraged to return to the islands for holidays or short breaks,” says David Jackson, Islands’ Partnership Executive Director.

“Even if they come only for a day, cruise ship passengers contribute a significant additional spend in the local economy through tours, food and drink, shopping and boating but of course, it becomes truly beneficial if they come back for holidays – and, anecdotally, we know that this does happen. Giving them the perfect welcome, gives them the best reason to come back.”

The Islands’ Partnership has delivered accredited Welcome Host training to its volunteer Meet & Greet Ambassadors and the team of TIC assistants.

“Our volunteer ambassadors will meet and greet all cruise passengers either on board or on the quay throughout the season. It’s important that they, together with our TIC team, feel supported and confident to deliver an exceptional customer experience,” says David.

52 cruise ships are scheduled to visit in 2016 with more than 19,000 passengers anticipated between April and the end of September. The busiest day of the year is likely to be 12th July when 1,600 cruise ship visitors are expected to arrive on three ships Magallen, Minerva and Corinthian.

On the 9th June, 1,300 cruise ship visitors are set to visit the islands.

15 Responses to 52 Cruise Ships Expected In 2016 And Islands’ Partnership Say They’re Prepared

  1. Al April 27, 2016 at 9:56 am

    Seems an odd idea to attract visitors to Scilly on the basis of “getting away from it all” and then, once here, tell them to spend time and effort to search for a quiet spot away from crowded areas created by cruise ship tourists. And that’s if boats are available and not tied up ferrying cruise ship clients.

    However, the question of impact on the environment, (from sewage, bilge, grey water and diesel particulates) and damage to the economy, (growing evidence that many resident visitors are unhappy, even hostile to cruise ships), remain. I imagine, the Council, Island Partnership and the Wildlife Trust, being responsible bodies, would be concerned and want to enable proper environmental assessments together with a market analysis/cost benefit study before too much damage, which might be irreversible, is done.

    Whilst this is carried out, might it be wise to try and return to levels we saw up until recent years, when the occasional visit by a cruise ship created interest not controversy? But certainly resources should not be wasted on encouraging them.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins April 28, 2016 at 7:05 am

      If I remember rightly , Shipping has to contend with very stringent rules for most kinds of waste which carry hefty fines (unlike the Hugh town sewerage discharges)! I think it comes under some convention like MARPOL? I would imagine the fact that a couple of the tripper boats are up for sale most of the time does not point to their being overworked!I just hope that the 3000 odd gig rowers here this weekend are given as much consideration by IP, they will form the islands biggest source of free advertising by word of mouth( so long as their experience is positive). These people will be spending over ten times what the cruise liners do and have family & friends in neighbouring counties very likely to visit later in the year.

      • Al April 29, 2016 at 11:26 am

        I think you might find the MARPOL convention is only advisory and critically, quoting from MARPOL,

        “The effectiveness of ships to comply with the discharge requirements of MARPOL depends largely upon the availability of adequate port reception facilities, especially within special areas. Hence, the Annex also obliges Governments to ensure the provision of adequate reception facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of garbage without causing undue delay to ships, and according to the needs of the ships using them.” Note reference to special areas.

        Scilly has no such waste facilities to make cruise ships compliant and surely nobody would seriously suggest these could be provided, adding to Scilly’s waste problems. But without these facilities then Scilly’s environment is threatened by cruise ships and needs an urgent assessment and solution – fewer or not encouraging them would be a good start.

        And many destinations require cruise ships to plug into mainland electricity to reduce pollution from their auxilary diesel engines whilst at anchor which again, Scilly cannot provide. Powering these “small towns” has been estimated to be similar to 688 heavy lorries parked with their engines running – East London doesn’t want this level of pollution, remarkable if Scilly should welcome it, especially having dispensed with its own diesel powered generation many years ago.

        • Adam Morton, St.Martins April 30, 2016 at 12:31 am

          I checked and it says”Annex IV Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships (entered into force 27 September 2003)

          Contains requirements to control pollution of the sea by sewage; the discharge of sewage into the sea is prohibited, except when the ship has in operation an approved sewage treatment plant or when the ship is discharging comminuted and disinfected sewage using an approved system at a distance of more than three nautical miles from the nearest land; sewage which is not comminuted or disinfected has to be discharged at a distance of more than 12 nautical miles from the nearest land”.
          I’m note sure about the “auxiliary power” .Surely the fact that people are on the ship will involve a subsequent power saving at their homes? I admit that it may just possibly be less efficient than nuclear or gas powered grid electric but who is in a position to realistically assess this impact and put it into accurate perspective given the relatively small amounts involved? Certainly it must be negligible when judged against say Scilly’s waste recycling re use of fossil fuels? Just because the grid is silent & clean at point of use does not mean its a clean source of energy! If we are going to get pedantic about it, then air travel is the least efficient form of transport and accounts for 2/3 of Scillies visitors!
          As to the matter of Scilly dispensing with its diesel powered generator, I believe this is not actually the case and is frequently called upon to provide auxiliary power when the mainland line is down. Long term it is logistically impossible to import fuel fast enough (with current transport arrangements) to supply the facility hence the reliance on the mainland cable .
          Im sure there are plenty of master mariners and western power workers out there who could allay your fears if you ask them.

          • Al May 1, 2016 at 7:06 pm

            MARPOL is only advisory and if they do comply with sewage, it does not deal with other waste, bilge, grey water etc and it does not change MARPOL’s statement, “The effectiveness of ships to comply with the discharge requirements of MARPOL depends largely upon the availability of adequate port reception facilities”. I think the fact that other cruise line destinations require the use of alternative power to auxilary diesel engines to deal with pollution would suggest this actually is a major issue. Worth checking out facts and figures on the East London campaign against a proposal to berth a similar number of cruise ships that presently come to Scilly if anyone is doubtful about their impact. At the end of the day, those who believe berthing ships with the populous of a small town has no significant impact or are simply not bothered with the issues of cruise ships, acknowledged worldwide, then that is perfectly reasonable. But for the many who are concerned about the impact of cruise ships, then I think it would be responsible to asses what this impact is having on Scilly’s environment and economy and plan for any mitigation.

            Apologies for not mentioning that the generation plant on St Marys is indeed kept for emergencies and maintenance purposes too.

          • Adam Morton, St.Martins May 2, 2016 at 9:11 am

            Well considering that they only have to be 3 miles offshore or in extreme cases 12 to discharge sewerage, I can’t see the attraction to saving it up specifically to dump in St.Mary’s roads!
            Just because some campaigners petition for something in London (an extremely densely populated area) doesn’t mean they are right or that its necessary here! We are not allowed to burn cardboard or wood packaging but it’s okay to use diesel to transport it to quay, more to transport it by boat to St.Mary’s, the mainland and then by truck to plymouth where it is then burnt legally !!!
            In the grand scheme of things at present , i’m not sure the impact of shipping on marine environment is all that significant. Especially when we have a town with about the same number of residents as a cruise ship discharging virtually raw sewerage into the sea 365 days a year (definate)compared to 52 part days( just slightly possible) by cruise ships! Just my opinion.

  2. Barry and Ann April 22, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    We were on Scilly last summer when one of the largest cruise ships (to date) visited and the most noticeable impact was on the St. Mary’s boatmen. As a consequence of ferrying passengers from the cruise ship (I believe the ship’s own tenders do not do the St. Mary’s landing) there was a reduced service to the resident holidaymakers (no circulars and fewer directs which is probably OK as a one-off) though at one stage it looked like Will’s wildlife tour wouldn’t happen because there was no boat to his advertised island! There were also delays in the afternoon awaiting a landing at the quay which is fine on a gloriously sunny Scilly day but not so good if you’re already damp and a bit chilly. To be fair the off-islands were as beautiful and peaceful as normal! Too many repetitions of these scenarios might not be good for the staying guests though as having to plan your outings around cruise ships might not be so carefree and relaxing.

  3. Salop Dave April 22, 2016 at 6:22 am

    David, if you manage to find a cruise free week, let us all know will you as there are many more of us who ‘would run a mile’ too. It seems to have been missed that there’ll now be a dispersal policy to relieve the crowded areas by sending the big new influx of cruisers to the quiter areas – so there’ll be no escape! May be best to join the crowds in St Ives or St Isaacs as you’ll save a fortune in travel costs.

  4. John Allsop April 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    When a cruise ship is here i have never noticed any problems with lots of people on St Marys. They don,t have time to go far, the bus tour is probably fully booked but thats all. Only the shops on or around Hugh Street might make some money, the artists out of town don,t appear to have any extra visitors on “cruise days”. The gardens at Tresco might be rather full but not having been there i don,t know. So for anyone who comes on holiday when a cruise ship is here there are plenty of places and islands that will never be seen by the the cruise ship visitors. So please don,t let the chance of a cruise ship being in stop you coming, it need not affect your stay.

  5. David Bonney April 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    We’ve stayed on St Mary’s at Star Castle and were thinking of returning. We wouldn’t go within 100 miles of the island if we thought we were coinciding with a cruise ship. We consider the Scillies one of the least spoiled places we’ve ever been and we urge the islanders to consider the impact these passengers would have on such a unique and precious environment. And if you insist on having cruise ship passengers visit why should they be greeted by volunteers? Why can’t locals be paid to work with these wealthy people as is usually the case.

    • Adam Morton, St.Martins April 19, 2016 at 10:56 am

      I really wouldn’t let the thought of the cruise ships bother you, honestly you wouldn’t notice they are here in most places apart from the well worn track from carn near to Tresco gardens and around Hugh town. Tresco gardens has been a stop off for cruise ships for decades along with gardens on the south coast and Brittany (I believe). I should imagine its part of a convenient circular trip. I’m with you on the “volunteers” + I should imagine the thousands of folders handed out must be of significant cost. If I were a member , I would want to see more than “anecdotal” evidence of its effectiveness. Which is a shame considering that IP now effectively has a local advertising monopoly in controlling all outlets so members can like it or lump it! An advertising monopoly to go with a transport monopoly…

  6. Adam Morton, St.Martins April 17, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Love the reference to “real Scilly”, wheres that ?
    It’s perfectly plain to me why IP bigs up cruise ships – because it only has “anecdotal evidence ” of the success of its marketing campaigns. All we hear about is web hits and brochures delivered which simply doesn’t translate as bums on seats. If it did ,they would be shouting it from the rooftops.
    It’s not rocket science, people need to get here for less than it costs to fly to Australia, reliable enough to be any point in booking short breaks , decent accommodation , decent selection of eateries and easy movement between the islands all for no more than it costs to go to an equivalent destination. The “selling point” that gets them to come here rather than there is the safe AONB environment on England’s doorstep. The main point is being competitively priced. If we are competitively priced , we lose money because it costs vastly more for everything here. We have to pay it but the visitors can go elsewhere.
    There is enough grant money(our taxes) coming to Scilly to pay for a fleet of ships, planes, helicopters or whatever you want. We probably won’t ever get a travel subsidy but we could have good quality machinery and probably a freight subsidy to lower that extra local cost, but that can’t happen unless people ask for it.
    The fly in the ointment I can see, is the SSco are scared stiff of public investment in ships because it wouldn’t have the excuse of raising capital costs on fares & freight if grants had paid for it. In reality this would only account for 5-10% of fares prices and would make negligible impact on shareholders of the operator. Same is true of freight subsidy, it would simply cover a portion of the cost to the customer and yes the contract would probably have to go out to tender but considering the company reputedly makes a loss on freight anyway it shouldn’t be much of a worry!
    The other factor is who made IP happen and why? It was set up by the Council who want all the grant money to keep up its vast staff and so called econ dev team so they don’t want it going on useful stuff to the economy. The SSco has figured heavily on the directors board and don’t want any movement for reasons above. The Duchy & estate agents also want to sell Scilly for the so called “lifestyle” and so don’t want the truth coming out about the actual viability of local businesses.
    Yet still people sleepwalk on wondering why they aren’t making any money and taking preschool classes in marketing strategy or craving a place on the directors board. Its DESIGNED TO GO NOWHERE !!!!!

  7. al April 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    I am not opposed to cruise ships but before Scilly simply sleepwalks into becoming a permanent Cruise Ship hub with its reputation and nature changed for good, I believe it would be reasonable to have answers to issues that will affect both the fragility of the islands and the backbone of Scilly’s economy, the resident visitor.

    Has the Island Partnership carried out any business cost/benefit analysis of cruise ships and quantified the downside for our regular visitors (Scilly’s main economy)? I suspect it might reveal negative added value causing damage to Scilly’s future economy. Cruise ship visitors come with an all inclusive package so spend relatively little on food and services – tiny compared with resident visitors and nothing on accommodation or travel. None of our guests have mentioned returning to Scilly following a cruise and evidence (not anecdotes) suggest staying visitors are uneasy, some distinctly unhappy with cruise ships

    Has Island Partnership carried out an impact assessment of the environmental damage to the sea, beaches, marine and wildlife that cruise ships are known to bring? (many discharge raw or semi-treated sewage. All pump grey waters and oily bilge water into the sea. A 1000 cruise passengers produce 7000 gallons of sewage a day.) Have they measured the effects on hygiene for safe swimming?

    How does the Island Partnership justify attracting such a large amount of air pollution and particulates into the Isles of Scilly? (one ship’s auxiliary diesel engine has been calculated to be the equivalent of 688 heavy lorries parked with their engines left running)

    In what way does Island Partnership believe the equivalent of a town (city in Scilly) moored between the islands will help the Dark Skies project?

    Can Island Partnership explain who takes mooring fees and detail how, if at all, these monies benefit the local economy?

    Does Island Partnership believe that it is right for a few individuals to have brought the equivalent of a holiday camp with inclusive restaurants and entertainment into Scilly with a capacity up to 1500 (and more) without any consultation with accommodation providers, visitors or residents?

    I hope Scilly Today will get some answers. We certainly deserve them together with a sensible debate before its too late.

    • fed up now April 14, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      This reads almost like you think the the IP are the sole reason cruise ships have ever come here. At the end of the day, the cruise ship operators can (and will) go to where make them the most profit. I very much doubt that a couple of calls from IP are enough to re-instate a stop that doesnt increase the marketability of their product. Likewise, if they want to stop anywhere outside the harbour then, as long as they are not obstructing access, there is likely very little that anybody can do, as its not a crime to bring a boat to scilly.

      The whole rightous indignation thing that locals seem to spouting about cruise ships is both misguided and gives the impression of us being entitled and simple. We have holiday operators saying ‘Here you go Scillonian economy, have X-hundred quasi-daytrippers. Although they will likely not buy a full evening meal or spend a night in local accomodation, they will wander around and buy trinkets/ice-creams/sundries and spend money that would otherwise not have been spent in your shops. After all, its not like we have taken up space on the SC3 or skybus to bring them here. Yes, there is a minor amount of disruption, but its not like we are completely stripping the place bare, nor making it impossible to move, and we have laid things on to keep people busy if they are not the trype to be able to entertain themselves. Think of it as more like an oversized saga trip….’. By comparison, our response seems to be one of ‘leave what little you would have spent and *£%$ off back to where you came from’.
      I swear, sometimes you could walk around hugh st handing out tenners and 1/2 the recipients would start moaning that they werent twenties.

      With regards to the environmental impact, i will concede that you have some valid points, but we can hardly expect to be taken seriously when we do a generally terrible job of caring for our locale. The problem is ‘do as i say, not as i do’ doesnt go down well – we need to look much closer to home and sort our own waste issues out first. The council seem to be stuck in the C20th with regards to waste policy, its one of the few things that i think should just be imposed on our community – recycle everything and we will collect it from your curb. It works everywhere else in the country, why not here? The only reason i can see is inertia. Tourists are a terrible excuse to not do this by the way, some of them even look bemused when they see no recycling bins in town, let alone the general opinion of a lack on recycling in homes and businesses.

  8. Adam Morton, St.Martins April 10, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Good old “anecdotally”.