'Amazing' - Joy as port welcomes maiden call of luxury cruise ship
- Credit: Mick Howes
It has been described as one of the finest small ships in the world.
And a luxury cruise ship made a welcome stop at ABP’s Port of Lowestoft for its maiden call on Friday.
Noble Caledonia’s flagship vessel, The MS Island Sky spent almost nine hours at the UK’s most eastern port for its first ever cruise call.
The port, which is more widely known for its support of the burgeoning offshore wind industry, its historic fishing industry and handling cargo for agricultural and construction industries, welcomed the Italian-built MS Island Sky at 7.28am on July 23.
With 59 cabins, the 118-passenger vessel made its final stop on the voyage at the Port of Lowestoft before heading to Portsmouth at 4.13pm as part of Noble Caledonia's ‘The Best of British 30th Anniversary’ tour.
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Passengers aboard the 90.6 metre vessel were offered coach excursions to Southwold and elsewhere while others ventured into Lowestoft.
With new Discover Lowestoft Town Guides meeting and greeting the passengers aboard the MS Island Sky, they were given tourist guides from Lowestoft Vision and Lowestoft pocket guides supplied by East Suffolk Council.
Paul Ager, divisional port manager at ABP said: “We are delighted to welcome the arrival of luxury cruise ships to the Port of Lowestoft and hope that this successful voyage of the MS Island Sky is followed by more visits from cruise
ships in the future.”
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Waveney MP Peter Aldous MP said: “It’s great to welcome the Island Sky to Lowestoft.
"Tourism is a vital component part of the local economy and the location of the Town Quay is an advantage that can help bring additional trade to the town centre.”
Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “The MS Island Sky is the first cruise ship to call at the Port of Lowestoft and we hope it will be the first of many this summer and in years to come.
"Lowestoft provides an ideal location for cruise ships to dock, enabling passengers to explore and enjoy the town and the wider district, benefiting the local economy and showcasing Lowestoft and East Suffolk to a national audience.”
Amie Mullen, Lowestoft Vision BID Manager said: “It was amazing to be there to welcome this magnificent cruise ship as it sailed in to town.
"Lowestoft Vision’s new Discover Lowestoft Visitor Guides were there to welcome guests as they stepped on to dry land, and to let them know about all the amazing things to see and do whilst in town.
"We are really proud to have the cruise ships dock here, and we look forward to being there to welcome the next cruise ship in August.”
Mr Aldous, Cllr Rivett, Mr Ager and Mrs Mullen were joined by the Mayor of Lowestoft, Alan Green, Danny Steel from Lowestoft Vision and Jay Medina, commercial manager for ABP, in meeting with the captain of MS Island Sky on the commemorative visit to Lowestoft.
The MS Island Sky is due to call at Lowestoft again next month and twice in September, as well as a proposed call from the MS Serenissima.