2023 is set to break the record for the most cruise ship calls to UK's Isle of Man.
Government figures revealed there were 59 cruise ships scheduled to visit the island throughout this year, 8 more than the previous record of 47 back in 2019.
There is expected to be a total of 18,346 cruise passengers and 15,764 crew onboard these ships, which would bring valuable tourism to the Isle of Man.
The island started welcoming cruise ships in April last year, following the COVID crisis, with 42 ships visiting throughout 2022.
Tim Crookall MHK, a politician in the Department for Enterprise with responsibility for tourism, said they were delighted by the recovery witnessed throughout 2022 and were pleased to report on the expected record number of cruise ship calls for this year.
‘The 2022–2032 Visitor Economy Strategy, ‘Our Island, Our Future’, recognizes the cruise industry as a key component in supporting visitor spend on-island, with a large number of passengers and crew coming ashore also enjoying the local hospitality and retail scene, as well as the role it plays in helping to extend the visitor season.’
The first cruise ship to visit the island is ms Spitsbergen, arriving on Sunday, March 26th, and chartered by Norwegian operator Hurtigruten Expeditions. The vessel carries ~180 passengers and 70 crew as part of the ‘British Isles Cruise’ route.
The largest liner scheduled to dock on the island is HAL's ms Nieuw Statendam with 2660 passengers due to visit the island on August 16th, along with 1025 crew.
Image: Isle of Man (Peel-Douglas, UK)
Of the 59 voyages, the Isle of Man is due to host 19 inaugural calls in 2023, with commemorative plaques to be presented to the captain of each vessel to celebrate the first visit to the island.