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IoM Seeks To Encourage Cruise Ship Visits

by Jason Gorringe,, London

14 May 2007

The Isle of Man Department of Transport is seeking Tynwald's approval for a GBP500,000 scheme to design and build a cruise ship tender pontoon berth in Douglas Harbour.

Following feedback from representatives of Cruise Ship companies, the Department, in association with the Department of Tourism & Leisure, has reviewed the possible options for the provision of improved facilities in Douglas Harbour which would provide more appropriate landing facilities for cruise ship passengers.

The Department said it has recognised that a first step to improve facilities for cruise ships is the provision of an improved berth that could be used by tenders from ships anchored in Douglas Bay.

Minster for Transport David Anderson said:

"In November 2006, it was decided that the Department of Tourism and Leisure and the Department of Transport would cooperate in the development of a pontoon, bridge and walkway to be used by cruise passengers visiting the Island. The Island provides the perfect stopping off point for cruise ships visiting Ireland, England and Wales and this gives an excellent opportunity to increase visitor numbers to the Isle of Man."

It is planned that the scheme will create a large pontoon at which tenders can berth at any stage of tide, between the Victoria and Edward Piers. From the pontoon there will be a covered bridge and walkway to the Sea Terminal Building, providing a safe and comfortable transfer for all passengers, including those in wheelchairs. The pontoon will also be available as an emergency landing point, which will benefit fishing boats, leisure craft and also the RNLI Lifeboat to land ill and injured people.

The Minister added:

"The Department believes that the higher standard of passenger-handling facilities and the enhanced berthing arrangements will encourage more cruise ships to visit the Isle of Man which will in turn benefit the Island’s economy."

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