The Isle of Man is set to welcome a record number of cruise calls in 2023, with 59 cruise ships scheduled to visit.
The number of scheduled calls for 2023 surpasses the previous record of 47 ships which were registered in 2019. The Island began welcoming cruise ships back in April 2022 following the Covid-19 pandemic, with 42 ships visiting throughout the year.
18,346 passengers and 15,764 crew are expected to visit the Island throughout 2023, representing an increase of 7,127 passengers and 8,245 crew from numbers recorded in 2019, and an increase of 10,411 passengers and 9,419 crew from 2022.
Tim Crookall MHK, Department for Enterprise Member with responsibility for Tourism, said:
‘We are delighted by the recovery witnessed throughout 2022 and are pleased to report on the expected record number of cruise calls for this year. The outlook for the Island as a cruise destination looks very positive, with 44 ships already booked for 2024, and bookings in place for 2025.
‘These figures highlight the increasing desire from globally-renowned cruise line companies to establish the Isle of Man as an important call destination on cruise itineraries. The Island’s UNESCO Biosphere status is widely promoted and passengers and crew who choose to come on shore are provided with opportunities to connect with our landscape and wildlife, fascinating heritage and the local arts community through guided tours and walks, as well as participating in bespoke activities and unique Manx experiences which celebrate our Island and benefit local businesses.
‘The 2022–2032 Visitor Economy Strategy, ‘Our Island, Our Future’, recognises 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 booked to visit the Island is Spitsbergen, arriving on 26 March and chartered by Norwegian operator Hurtigruten Expeditions, carrying approximately 180 passengers and 70 crew members as part of the ‘British Isles Cruise’ route. The largest vessel due to visit the Island this year is the Nieuw Statendam, arriving in August and carrying approximately 2,660 passengers and 1,025 crew.
The Isle of Man will also host 19 inaugural cruise ship visits this year, with commemorative plaques to be presented to the Captain of each ship to celebrate the vessel’s first visit to the Island.
The full cruise call schedule for 2023 can be downloaded from the Visit Isle of Man website.