Category: cruisevisitor economyTourism

Plymouth’s cruise industry has seen a positive restart with seven cruise calls to Britain’s Ocean City this summer.

The city has welcomed visits from ships including the Golden Horizon of Tradewind Voyages, the world’s largest square rigged sailing cruise ship; the boutique cruise ship Hebridean Princess; and most recently the maiden call of Vasco da Gama of Germany’s Nicko Cruises, part of the Mystic Cruises Group.

The seven visits during 2021 were warmly welcomed after all visits during 2020 were cancelled due to COVID-19.

A further 11 cruise calls are already scheduled to take place in 2022.

Amanda Lumley, Executive Director of Destination Plymouth said: “We’ve been working hard to grow the number of cruise visits to the city and develop the offering for passengers so were delighted to welcome seven ships this year.

“Cruise tourism is a huge opportunity and provides a real economic boost for local businesses as many passengers will choose to remain in Plymouth and explore our attractions, shops and eateries.

“We’ve pledged to get serious about cruise, increasing the number of visits and the financial and reputational benefits that each of those visits brings.”

This has included appointing a New Cruise Development Manager, Glen Gardner, who joined the Destination Plymouth team earlier in 2021.

Throughout the year, extra effort has been made to improve the welcome that cruise visitors receive when they arrive in Plymouth. A team of Cruise Ambassador Volunteers have been on hand to provide a warm welcome and share information and advice about what to see and do. In addition to this, Town Crier John Pitt and Deputy Town Crier David Green have joined the welcome parties.

During the call of the Vasco da Gama on Sunday 26 September, a newly refurbished Destination Plymouth cruise caravan trailer was set up onsite at Commercial Wharf to provide ‘pop-up’ tourist information, staffed by the wonderful team of Cruise Ambassador Volunteers. 

Material provided for the guests included maps and information in German as well as leaflets and flyers about city attractions. Tasty samples of locally produced food and drink were also on offer, thanks to donations from Plymouth Gin and Burts Snacks.

A plaque exchange also took place in the Harbour Master’s Cattewater office, where senior officers from the Vasco da Gama were presented with a City of Plymouth plaque by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth, Councillor Terri Beer. In return, the staff captain of the ship presented their own plaque to the city. 

This is a tradition going back centuries, whereby a port representative will hand over a plaque of the port of call and in exchange the ship’s captain, or senior officer, will present a ship’s plaque to the port city.

Prior to calling at Plymouth, Vasco Da Gama has been cruising around the British Isles with stops in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. For most of the ports, including Plymouth, it was been the first time an international cruise ship has visited since the pandemic began in 2020. Strict protocols were in place for all guests and crew on board, with access only being allowed at each port after stringent checks including a full testing regime and other safeguards.


Anyone interested in getting involved with the Plymouth Cruise Ambassador Volunteers can contact Glen Gardner for more information at cruise@destinationplymouth.org.uk.

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