Tuesday 12 November 2019
Visit Guernsey identified a need to offer special assistance for more vulnerable cruise passengers arriving in to St Peter Port.
As a result the 'Disability Awareness Team' was launched at the beginning of the 2019 cruise season. The team, operating on the Albert Pier and arrival pontoon, are easily identifiable in their green and yellow hi-viz vests. The team underwent 'Hidden Disabilities Training' at the start of the season as many of our Cruise visitors are living with Dementia, Alzheimer's, have hearing difficulties or have other hidden disabilities .
The team also assist the elderly, disabled and/or distressed passengers. They offer help and support to passengers in need by reassuring them, finding them a drink or a chair to rest before guiding them to appropriate locations for boarding the returning tenders. If appropriate, the team also organise priority boarding.
The additional assistance available allows an elderly and/or disabled passenger to rest and gather themselves before boarding the tenders, or whilst waiting for friends and relatives, and is always received with gratitude. Taking the pressure off of parents or often grandparents, when a child gets upset by changes in their environment or routine, can make a lasting impression and quickly helps to diffuse a distressing situation. The team also look out for 'mums to be 'and those with young children, particularly on hot or wet days.
This has proved such a success that it is planned for all of the cruise meet and greet team to complete Hidden Disabilities Training prior to the 2020 season. The possibility of completing specific Dementia Training ahead of the 2020 season is also being explored.
Wendy Pedder, Marketing Manager, VisitGuernsey said:
"Guernsey is recognised as a leading port of call within Europe and is firmly established on cruise itineraries, however we are not complacent and are continually looking how to improve the welcome Guernsey gives to this important visitor sector."
Isabel de Menezes, Cruise Pier Manager, VisitGuernsey, said:
"This initiative has been a great success story and has been welcomed by cruise lines and passengers alike."