Cowes hope for business boost as cruise ship comes to town

Sunday, 29th April 2018 will see the second cruise ship this year moor off Cowes, thanks to work by Cowes Harbour Commission, Visit Isle of Wight and Destination Cowes.

It’s hoped that cruise passengers will enjoy the Isle of Wight’s famous hospitality and come back for a longer stay.

Cowes Harbour Commission has been leading the project, as Harbour Master, Captain Stuart McIntosh explained:

“We are very pleased to be having a visit from another cruise ship, the Astor. Cowes Harbour Commission have been working very closely with Visit Isle of Wight to try and attract more cruise ships to use Cowes and the Isle of Wight as one of their destinations.”

At around 176m long, the Astor – described as a boutique liner – will moor off Cowes between 1330 and 2300 this Sunday. Passengers can take a tender to Trinity Landing at Cowes Parade.

From there, a team of Travel Ambassadors from Visit Isle of Wight will offer information and leaflets about the Island, giving passengers the opportunity to go further than the confines of their luxury cruise liner.

Visit Isle of Wight’s Visitor Travel Project Manager, Zoe Stroud, said:

“It is great to welcome new visitors to the Island and those arriving on cruise ships. It is a brilliant opportunity for the Visit of Wight Travel Ambassadors to offer a warm welcome.

“We will be offering help and advice so the visitors get the best out of their Isle of Wight visit. The team will offer inspiring ideas of things to see and do. We are also developing specific itineraries to really showcase what the Island has to offer.”

Cowes town is set to get a boost too. In the past, if a cruise ship has visited, a coach has been laid on to immediately whisk passengers away to other parts of the Island.

Now, Captain McIntosh hopes that cruise passengers will also have the chance to enjoy the popular coastal town:

“Cowes… with it’s High Street full of unique boutiques and galleries, restaurants and cafes, and renowned brands of sailing clothing, together with local museums like the Sir Max Aitken Museum, the Classic Boat museum… we’ve got a lot of attractions.”

Captain McIntosh said it is a fantastic opportunity for the Island’s economy:

“They may only be ashore for a few hours or half a day at the most, but what it does, is it provides them with a window to look at the Island and then hopefully, if they like what they see, they‘ll come back here and say ‘we want to go and have a week’s holiday, we want to have 10 days holiday’, and that’s got to be good for the Island’s economy.”