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 Post subject: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:26 pm 
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Yesterday i noticed there were 3 cruise ships anchored in various ports in Devon and Cornwall

1. Silver Cloud was in Fowey
2. Saga Sapphire was in Torbay and Falmouth
3. Funchal was in Falmouth

I notice Falmouth have 25 cruises stopping there, Fowey 6 cruise ships, how come Plymouth hardly ever gets cruise ships stopping there.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:57 pm 

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I think there was a plan to build a new dock at Millbay to encourage cruise ships to Plymouth. However I think it was too expensive which is a real shame. Hopefully it might still happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:48 pm 
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The really big cruise ships are too big to visit as the Sound isn't very deep and it would costs millions to dredge it.

However, some ports (Villefranche for example) rely on the use of tenders to transfer passengers from cruise ships anchored further out. I think Plymouth is missing a trick here.

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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 11:37 pm 

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In the days of transatlantic liners many called into Plymouth on the eastward run and dropped their passengers off by tenders which came alongside Millbay. Fast trains took people and mail from Millbay through to London as it was a lot quicker than staying on the ship. The liners usually crossed to a French port before berthing in Southampton. Great Western Railway owned the tenders and the rail service and it was a profitable operation.

The Sound may not be deep enough for the big cruise ships it certainly is for the middle sized range. The big problem would be getting someone to invest in tenders which would have little use in the winter months.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:58 am 
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Those 3 ships i mentioned are not large cruise ships, SILVER CLOUD has approx 300 passengers, Saga Sapphire 600 passengers and Funchal with 525 passengers. Both Silver Cloud and Funchal docked right in Fowey and Falmouth respectivley, so surely they could come into Millbay.
As i right this i see cruise ships Artania (1200 passengers) and Astor (650 passengers) are heading for Falmouth.

I thought Plymouth was the Ocean City, so why are they not getting Ocean going ships coming there.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:17 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:39 pm
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Apparently it well cost £3 million to extend trinity pier at Millbay so 200 metre cruise ships can dock there. They are still hopeful it well happen by 2020 to capitalize of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower.

According to the Plymouth Chambers of Commerce it is possible that 30 cruise ships a year could come to Plymouth bringing in about £15 million pounds to the local economy.

Sorry cant do links but it easy to find the information about the proposals so hopefully it well happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:47 pm 
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Not sure about the 'really large' ships, like some of the bigger Royal Caribbean ones, but there have certainly been numerous in the 70-100,000 bracket over the last ten years or so, and these are big suckers, each sailing around with thousands of well off punters on board.
Quick look at google brings up these,

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-Large- ... 28463.html

http://www.daveuptonphotography.co.uk/p ... nce-of-the

and I know there have been numerous more of this ilk.

Not really sure why this has stopped happening, as I'm pretty sure there used to be 2-3 a year stopping off annually, but I guess the fact that they'd never get alongside doesn't help much.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:28 am 
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I remembered reading an article about how tricky it was getting the aircraft carriers into the dockyard because the Sound was so shallow: I couldn't find that article, but I did find this site which shows how tricky getting any big tub close to the docks is.

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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:50 pm 
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Without meaning to sound like a know it all, and I realise I probably do haha, but I have some reliable info on this. Getting in and out of the Sound isn't going to be an issue at all, the problem is getting them around the Drakes island/Devils point section and around the corner of the river into the Dockyard stretch of the river.
Apparently the boffins are currently carrying out computer simulations to decide whether it's feasible/safe to bring them alongside in Devonport, and how much dredging would be required. Whether or not they ever get past Drakes island is unsure, but they definitely will be occasional visitors to the sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:02 pm 
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Monkey Nuts wrote:
Without meaning to sound like a know it all, and I realise I probably do haha, but I have some reliable info on this. Getting in and out of the Sound isn't going to be an issue at all, the problem is getting them around the Drakes island/Devils point section and around the corner of the river into the Dockyard stretch of the river.
Apparently the boffins are currently carrying out computer simulations to decide whether it's feasible/safe to bring them alongside in Devonport, and how much dredging would be required. Whether or not they ever get past Drakes island is unsure, but they definitely will be occasional visitors to the sound.



Well if Drakes Island hadn't become Devils Island through 'market forces' ..we could have had a mooring there with shuttles (underwater walkway is my favourite) so that tourists could visit .. ho hum!! :facepalm:


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:22 pm 

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The issue of Plymouth Sound is not simply dredged depth, it comes down to a conflict of interest between the 'Grey Funnel Line' and the 'White Funnel Line', or to put it simply Royal Navy versus commercial interests.

While tide and depth are issues, The Sound is controlled by the Longroom, a Royal Navy operation, who have the final say and they can object to cruise liners if their use of the anchorages interferes with RN movements.

Tendering is not an issue for cruise liners, many ports are nowadays to small to accommodate the new breed of liner, the only factors to consider are the sea state and the distance from the anchorage point to the shore. The Longroom will always allow use of the Cawsand anchorages, but weather and time and distance to Millbay can discourage shipping lines from using it.

The consideration is the restriction in coming alongside in Millbay due to Brittany Ferries operations, they always have priority and there is only the one berth.

There is a tender pontoon on the Barbican, but security issues, lack of space for tour buses and time from the anchorages are factors against it.

Finally, cruise liners will principally use Plymouth for visits, not turnarounds - Southampton is the port for that. Figures bandied about suggests the average cruise visitor spend £50 a head though I seriously doubt this figure. The port authority, local coach companies and some local attractions gain (Buckland Abbey, Eden Project, Looe/ Polperro being the usual favourites), but these people spend very little elsewhere. They are fed onboard as part of their package so rarely choose to eat ashore and maybe buy a few trinkets to remember their visit. They do not return to their ship laden with bags.

There are too many ports in the southwest chasing the same business, cruise liners know this and move from port to port every few years or so. Plymouth seems to have had about 6-8 visits a summer for the past few years now, for all the talk the Trinity Pier plan will remain just that unless the interested parties can get more concrete guarantees from the cruise companies.

Sorry Plymouth, but this cruise liner windfall conspiracy is just a myth. Unless we have one or two a week, there really is no return on this investment.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:46 pm 

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Back in June 'Discovery' berthed in Millbay to drop off passengers from one cruise and to load up passengers for the next cruise. Part on the deal was also a mini cruise to Liverpool, with a coach journey back, which is the trip I made. The ship was then leaving Liverpool for Iceland I think. This ship is a decent size with 700 passengers. I did take some photos and sent one to the hoe and waterfront facebook page which they published, but apart from that I did not see any press coverage of this, which I found very disappointing. The ship arrived in Plymouth about 6.30 in the morning and left again about 1.00 o'clock so was berthed in Millbay for quite a few hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Cruise ships why dont they come to Plymouth?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:01 pm 
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Mags that is exactly what Plymouth should be a departure, stopping point for that size a cruise ship


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