Thursday 28 April 2022
Local businesses have expressed their relief at seeing the return of cruise liner visitors this year.
With more than 90 cruise liners scheduled to visit between now and October, the 2022 cruise liner season is well underway.
After two missed cruise seasons due to the pandemic, it is hoped that cruise passengers will bring a significant boost to our economy.
This Saturday (30th April) Guernsey will welcome the Virtuosa for the first of three calls it will make to the Island over the summer months. With a maximum capacity of 6,334 passengers, it will be a busy day with many people walking through and enjoying St Peter Port, which is being welcomed by the Guernsey Retail Group.
Chair of the Group, Jonathan Creasey said:
'We are delighted to see the return of cruise liner passengers this summer. Like many other industries, the last couple of years have been really challenging for the retail sector and this will come as a welcome relief for many who have been struggling.
'We remain hopeful that this is the start of a return to a pre-pandemic way of life, whilst remaining responsible and vigilant about keeping our staff and customers safe.'
Ahead of the return of cruise ships this year, the States of Guernsey worked alongside its partners in the tourism industry to ensure all appropriate health and safety measures are in place.
Cruise ships will be requesting proof of a negative test result 24-48 hours before boarding for those who are fully-vaccinated. Non-vaccinated guests will be required to test at the terminal.
To reduce the risk to our island community, cruise ship guests are strongly recommended to do a lateral flow test before coming ashore and to only come ashore if they feel well.
As in previous years, some parking will be suspended when there are visiting ships, with the number of spaces dependent on the size of the ship and expected numbers of visitors. On those days, Islanders are being reminded to ensure their cars aren't left on the Pier.
Signage at the Albert Pier will provide at least two days' notice ahead of any cruise ship arrival. In line with previous cruise seasons, some additional public parking is being made available at Castle Emplacement.
Founding member of the Guernsey Tourism Partnership and Managing Director at Island Coachways, Hannah Beacom, said for many businesses who relied on the visitor market, the return of the cruise liners was a lifeline.
'To be able to welcome holiday makers safely back to the Islands, restriction-free, feels like a real step in the right direction for those who need the tourist sector to survive. It's so important that we take what we have learnt from the past few years and build on it to strengthen our offering for the future. Covid has resulted in significant changes to almost all aspects of our lives, including how we socialise, work and holiday.'
Hannah said the uncertainly that COVID-19 presented was one of the most challenging aspects, with changes having to be navigated at short notice.
Tourism Sector Lead for the Committee for Economic Development, Deputy Simon Vermeulen, said he was delighted to welcome the first passengers ashore earlier this month, and all those who follow.
'It was wonderful to see cruise liner passengers arriving into the Islands of Guernsey once again, after an absence of more than two years. We are seeing the return in earnest of getting 'back to normal' and are thrilled to see these visitors excited to see what the Islands have to offer. As a destination, we have missed these valuable tourists and are hoping to convert these short visits into returning longer stays.'