Cowes Harbour Commission is working proactively with Destination Cowes and the Island’s tourism organisation Visit Isle of Wight to promote Cowes as a unique destination port-of-call, encouraged by the rising demand in the cruise ship market, including growth in the Northern European luxury cruise market.
• View the “Cruise to Cowes” digital, interactive guide.
Cowes offers exceptional visitor appeal with cruise ship passengers able to visit world famous tourist attractions such as Queen Victoria’s magnificent Osborne House in East Cowes, the palatial royal residence used as the setting for the major feature film Victoria and Abdul.
Every year, a number of small and medium-sized cruise ships on Northern European itineraries are welcomed to the Isle of Wight to enjoy the delights of Cowes, as well as the Island’s stunning coastlines and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. The new Cowes Harbour Commission initiative seeks to secure increased cruise calls to Cowes for the benefit of the harbour, town and local economy.
Harbour Master Captain Stuart McIntosh said: “We are excited at the prospect of welcoming more visiting cruise ships to Cowes, one of the world’s most famous sailing destinations. However, a visit to Cowes puts cruise guests within easy reach of a multitude of landmark attractions and diverse excursion choices on the Isle of Wight, hence why our Island is often referred to as England in miniature.”
Cowes is ideally located on the central south coast of the UK and is a cost-effective stopover port for European and UK cruise itineraries. The sheltered anchorage offers ample swinging room with a quick tender run to Trinity Landing for disembarkation. Cruise visitors arrive onto The Parade, which is next to Henry VIII’s “Cowes Castle”, home to the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron and in the heart of Cowes.
After alighting at Trinity Landing, cruise guests may discover the historic town of Cowes and home of world yachting. Opportunities could include a guided tour of the remarkable Sir Max Aitken maritime history museum, housing a collection of unique nautical artefacts, then lunch at a local yacht club and boutique shopping in Cowes High Street.
Nearby in Newport is Carisbrooke Castle, an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king’s prison and royal summer residence. Inspiring countryside, historic houses and ancient monuments, beautiful beaches, coastal towns and pretty villages, are all just a few minutes apart from each other on a safe and welcoming Island.
Cruise vessels up to 150m LOA can use the Cowes anchorage in the Solent, with a 5 minute tender run to Trinity Landing, while larger vessels over 150m LOA are safely anchored in the ABP Anchorage, from where it is a 15 minute tender trip ashore to the boutique shops, galleries, and cafés in the winding streets of Cowes with its stunning views over the Solent.
To find out more about Cowes as a destination port-of-call, please contact the Harbour Office by telephone on +44 (0)1983 293952, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/cruise for more information.
Notes to Editors
Cowes Harbour Commission:
Cowes Harbour Commission is the statutory harbour authority for Cowes Harbour on the Isle of Wight. The Commission’s vision, strategic objectives and guiding policies for the future of Cowes Harbour are set out in its Strategic Plan 2016-2021. The Commission’s area of jurisdiction commences from the Prince Consort north cardinal buoy in the Outer Harbour and extends south down the River Medina to the Folly.
Cowes Harbour is a key economic driver and gateway to the Island. Ferries and commercial ships enter the harbour 24/7 and carry approximately three million passengers, plus freight and coaches, and 99% of all the bulk shipping import and export goods for the Island, including fuel supplies. Yachting, power boating and the marine services sector also create local jobs and contribute in excess of £25 million to the local economy in Cowes and the Medina Valley.
Cowes is an economical port-of-call for European and UK cruise itineraries. Cowes Harbour Commission provides pilotage for cruise vessels using the Cowes anchorage “C1”, suitable for cruise vessels up to 150m dependent on weather conditions. ABP Southampton provides pilotage for cruise vessels over 150m using the “ABP Anchorage”. Tenders disembark their passengers at the Trinity Landing pontoons. The landing is rigged with a marquee and a welcoming party will be on station to assist passengers. Coach parking facilities are located at the head of the gangway ramp. Cowes is fully ISPS compliant and will provide licensed security staff for the ship to shore connection. This will be arranged via the cruise line’s appointed agent; however, if this is the vessel’s first UK port-of-call, Customs and immigration will attend the vessel on arrival for efficient clearance.
• View the digital, interactive “Cruise to Cowes” guide.
Destination Cowes is a public-private partnership of key local organisations that promotes Cowes as an attractive destination for visitors. The website for Cowes, the maritime gateway to the Isle of Wight, can be found at: www.cowes.co.uk.
Visit Isle of Wight:
Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk, the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org.