This year seven cruise ships are booked to call at Cowes, Isle of Wight, including four which will make inaugural visits.
The season will kick off when Hanseatic Nature, one of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new expedition ships, calls at the port on 17 April. Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa will also return to the port in the summer.
Private residential ship The World will be the first cruise ship to stay overnight in Cowes when she makes her maiden call on 12-13 July. Seabourn Quest will visit for the first time on 15 July and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Wind, which was renovated at the end of 2018, will make her Cowes debut on 18 July.
Cowes Harbour Commision has developed a strategic policy with stakeholders to help promote Cowes as a cruise destination and take advantage of the increasing numbers of ships visiting the UK mainland.
“Working with local partners, the commission aims to deliver annual growth in cruise visits to Cowes,” said Stuart McIntosh, harbour master at Cowes. “We believe that the Isle of Wight offers an ideal destination for luxury cruise operators looking to cater to current demand for experiential and personalised travel. By bringing additional international attention to the island, we hope to see a continual development in cruise tourism.”
Cowes Harbour Commission is also working with shoreside tour operator Intercruises to develop new land- and water-based excursions to enhance the experience for cruise guests.
“Cowes is a fascinating coastal town with a long, prestigious maritime history,” said Jack Brooke, senior account manager of Shore Excursions UK and Ireland for Intercruises. “It is with great pleasure that we have started working with Cowes Harbour Commission and local stakeholders in recent years as the island grows in recognition and reputation as an up-and-coming UK cruise destination.
“With the support of local business and the port authority, Intercruises has been able to develop a varied portfolio of tour excursions from Cowes with several new tours debuting this year for cruise passengers.”