The Islands of Guernsey are making headway in attracting more cruise ships in 2023, as the destination works to strengthen its position as an up-and-coming port call.
Part of the marketing strategy includes hosting, and impressing, a delegation of cruise line representatives visiting the region this week.
A Dozen Ships to Make Maiden Calls in 2023
Ninety-five cruise ships are scheduled to call at Guernsey during the 2023 season, which begins in mid-April and continues to late October. The ships, of varying sizes, will potentially deliver more than 147,000 cruise guests to the destination, topping the 2022 number.
Equally important is the idea that a dozen ships will make their maiden calls to Guernsey, signaling the destination’s increasing popularity as a cruise port.
The Islands of Guernsey, also called the Bailiwick of Guernsey, refers to a group of seven islands, including Guernsey. The Islands of Guernsey and the Island of Jersey are together known as the Channel Islands and both are Crown Dependencies of the UK, although they are closer to France than Britain, located about 27 miles from the Normandy coast.
Guernsey cruise officials point out that ships owned by luxury line Silversea Cruises will visit five times this season, including the line’s 200-guest expedition ship Silver Endeavour, along with the 596-guest Silver Dawn and and the 388-guest Silver Shadow.
Larger ships also are slated to call, including the mega-ship MSC Euribia, which will accommodate 6,334 guests when she begins sailing in June.
The ship is under construction at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France, and will be christened on June 8 in Copenhagen. MSC Euribia will call at Guernsey on October 22.
Other ships set to make maiden calls to Guernsey include National Geographic’s 126-guest expedition ship NG Resolution, MSC Cruises’ 3,274-guest MSC Fantasia, Princess Cruises’ 3,560-guest Regal Princess, Oceania Cruises’ 1,250-guest Riviera, Ambassador Cruise Line’s 1,200-guest Ambition and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 750-guest Seven Seas Splendor.
Cruise Line Officials Visiting This Week
Guernsey is home to St. Peter Port, which is the capital city and the cruise ships’ port of call. Sightseeing highlights include the medieval Castle Cornet, a fortress built 800 years ago, several museums, beaches, and a set of German bunkers from World War II.
The destination’s picturesque scenery and cliffs, and its historical significance will be highlighted as part of this week’s fam trip, as representatives from Silversea Cruises, SAGA Cruises, Ponant, Explora Journeys and Seadream Yacht Club are given tours of Guernsey by officials from CruiseGuernsey. Explora Journeys, the luxury unit of MSC Cruises, will debut with the launch of its first ship, the 922-guest Explora I, in July.
The visitors will learn about shore excursions that cruise guests can experience on the island, such as tours of the German Underground Hospital, which was used during the island’s occupation during World War II, and walking tours of the island’s dramatic South Coast cliffs.
Island officials also will point out infrastructure developments and the dedicated cruise arrivals area. CruiseGuernsey Business Development Officer Amanda Johns will lead the fam trip.