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The Islands’ Partnership is fully prepared and raring to go for the 2016 cruise ship season, which gets underway tomorrow as we welcome 300 German passengers on Fram. 

New “Passport to Scilly” folders have been designed and printed over the winter, and new information packs have been prepared, all designed to give these valuable guests a fantastic experience of the Isles of Scilly.  One of the aims of the new information packs, in addition to offering up-to-date what’s on and getting around information, is to encourage passengers to venture further than Hugh Town, perhaps enjoy independent travel to the off-islands, and experience more of a taste of the “real” Scilly.  

“Ultimately, 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.”

To that end, the Islands’ Partnership has also delivered accredited Welcome Host training to its valued team of 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. “They do a magnificent job already and represent the values of the Isles of Scilly brand really very well, but we’re always looking for ways in which we can better help our visitors. We have a trained Welcome Host trainer in-house at the Islands’ Partnership so it makes good sense to make use of this capability, especially with so many new, big events going on in Scilly this year,” he adds.

The Isles of Scilly will welcome some 52 cruise ships in 2016 with more than 19,000 passengers anticipated between April and the end of September.  The busiest day of the year is anticipated to be 12th July when 1,600 cruise ship visitors are expected to arrive on three ships (Magallen 1,200 passengers; Minerva 350 passengers and Corinthian 80 passengers). On the 9th June, we will welcome 1,300 cruise ship visitors.