Plymouth takes steps toward cruise port

Plymouth takes steps toward cruise port

Leading marine consultants have been appointed to look at the economic case for a cruise terminal in the city of Plymouth, Devon.

GP Wild International, a leading authority on passenger shipping and cruise markets whose clients have included CruiseScotland, Monaco and the port city of Dubrovnik, is compiling a report which will examine the current cruise market, its future trends and the Plymouth’s place within this market.

A consortium comprising Plymouth City Council, Associated British Ports, the Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce, Destination Plymouth and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership have commissioned GP Wild International who will be compiling the report over the summer.

The study’s scope will include discussions with organisations such as the ministry of defence, Queen’s Harbourmaster and the Environment Agency to get an overview of what would need to be achieved to overcome current constraints.

The study will also address the following key aspects:

  • To understand the marketplace opportunities, which ships, operators and agents to target and realistic business opportunity predictions.
  • To understand how cruise shipping would work alongside the naval port, its activities and control of waters around the Sound.
  • To analyse the visitor offering in Plymouth and future tourism plans for the city.
  • To understand existing national and European competition and Plymouth’s potential market share in that context.
  • To explore competitors’ plans and investments.
  • To get a clear picture of investment necessary to market and promote the city in the cruise market.
  • To set out the job creation opportunities for the city.
  • To get an idea of potential visitor numbers and estimates of excursions traffic.

Should the economic feasibility studies prove compelling, Plymouth would then aim to have an operational cruise liner berth in place for the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020.

A key part of the project will be analysis of world cruise fleet in terms of ship length and passenger capacity and the potential for ships to berth in Plymouth.

Port manager David Atkin, of Associated British Ports, which own Millbay Docks said: “We all share the same aspirations but need to get a clear picture of future market trends for the cruise industry and how Millbay could play a part in this.

“This also needs to include clear costings and projections in respect of any berth development.”