Business owners voice concerns as 35 fewer cruise ships booked to visit Guernsey this year

  • ITV Channel's Roisin Gauson reports on the impact Princess Cruises' decision will have on the island of Guernsey and particularly on businesses dependent on tourism

A total of 35 fewer ships are scheduled to visit Guernsey this year compared to 2022.

It comes as Princess Cruises - one of the biggest operators in the area - announced its plans to pull out trips to the island from next year.

Owner of the Petit Train, Andrew Furniss, says this could cost his business somewhere between £10,000 and £12,000 a year.

He also says he's quite pessimistic about the future of the cruise industry more generally: "As we look at the graphs of the number of passengers and income and how it's all going, we can see a slow steady decline."

Another local company, Master Pilot, is hugely reliant on the sector as they ferry passengers from their ship to the island.

It also advises the visiting cruises on local tides and conditions upon their arrival.

However, one of its employees, Les Dorey, says the whole operation is very weather-dependent and it's seen a number of cancellations over the last few weeks.

"They are very manpower intensive and they take up a lot of staff to man the boats and it's a risky business," he says.

A survey from earlier this year shows visitors from cruise ships increase footfall in St Peter Port "significantly," according to the Guernsey Retail Group (GRG).

It collected data comparing the number of pedestrians in the town on 25 April, when the MSC Virtuosa was visiting, with the previous Tuesday when there were no cruise ships docked.

The results found there was 34% more activity on the day the vessel was visiting.

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