Islands which are worlds apart

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Two British islands, thousands of miles apart, and each with a totally different approach to cruise ships.
Guernsey, second-largest of the Channel Islands, is a popular destination for ships on round-Britain voyages, on short breaks from Dover and Southampton, and has potential as a stopping-off point en route to the Mediterranean and the Canaries.
Just one problem: there is no cruise pier at St Peter Port and ships have to put their passengers ashore by tender. If the weather is windy and the seas are rough, tendering is not possible.
Some years, as many as 60 per cent of the scheduled calls are cancelled because of the weather. Passengers are disappointed and the local shops, restaurants, bars and cafes lose out on millions of pounds-worth of business.
Not that they seem too concerned. There were two ships in port yesterday: Queen Mary 2, carrying more than 2,500 passengers, and Quest for Adventure with about 450 aboard. Those who went ashore found almost all the shops kept their doors closed; Sunday trading has not yet reached Guernsey.
Contrast that with what is happening thousands of miles away in the Falkland Islands, where work is talking place to refurbish Port Stanley’s visitor centre.
Passenger arrivals are expected to increase by seven per cent to more than 36,000 during this year’s season, which runs from September to April.
The revamped Jetty Visitor Centre should be completed by the beginning of September The centre includes visitor information, a display of aspects of Falkland Islands life, and occasional exhibitions and local artwork, a perfect pit stop for foot-weary visitors awaiting tenders back to their cruise ship.
“The cruise market is of immense global significance, proving one of the fastest growing in the travel industry with travellers demonstrating a real appetite for cruise holidays to intriguing destinations,” says Tony Mason, Managing Director of the Falkland Islands Tourist Board.
“With over 700 islands the Falklands offer an abundance of unexplored gems, private nature reserves and hidden coves largely inaccessible to land-based tourists, so coming by sea offers the ultimate taste of this wildlife paradise.”
New cruise product this season includes the ‘magical winter wonderland’ holiday just launched by Crystal Cruises. The December 21, 2013 Buenos Aires-Valparaiso voyage aboard Crystal Symphony sails through Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, the Falkland Islands, Drake Passage, Cape Horn, and the Chilean Fjords. The 18-day cruise includes a stop at Port Stanley and the chance to visit working farms in the Falklands.
Other cruise lines with ships calling at the Falklands next season include Seabourn and Princess Cruises.

By | 2013-08-05T15:38:01+00:00 5 August 2013|Cruise destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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