Community volunteers provide warm island welcome to cruises
The importance of a warm, friendly welcome is unrivalled when it comes to offering the best visitor experience. The volunteer Games’ Makers at London 2012 nailed it, and so too are the Cruise Ship Meet & Greet Ambassadors here on the Isles of Scilly who this season will welcome each of the 46 cruise ships scheduled to visit these outstandingly beautiful islands, just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall and like nowhere else in England.
The ambassadors – residents from all five of Scilly’s inhabited islands – are dedicated volunteers who are keen to ensure that passengers make the most of their short stay in Scilly, in the hope that they are tempted to return for a longer holiday or short break. They board the liners to hand out goody bags containing maps, island information and an enticing competition to come back, as well as offer friendly advice on what to do and where to go. The ambassadors also provide on-shore services, assisting cruise teams with coordinating on-island excursions.
“There is a great sense of community on Scilly as well as the realisation that the archipelago relies heavily on the tourism economy,” says David Jackson, Executive Director Visit Isles of Scilly. “We’re very grateful to our enthusiastic volunteers who give their time to ensure that our visitors enjoy these remarkably beautiful islands by sharing their genuine passion for the islands. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why a recent BBC survey rated those living on the Isles of Scilly as the most conscientious and agreeable in the UK!”
The islands are the most popular stop-off point for cruises anywhere in the South West with 46 ships and 17,000 passengers due here throughout the 2015 season. May and June are the busiest months – with 30 ships arriving within the two-month period.
Pictured here are: Back row left to right: Sabine Schaudolph; Mike Skaife; David Jackson; Mair Allen-Williams. Front row left to right: Oriel Hicks; Maggie Wagstaff; Steve Douglas. Those volunteers not pictured are: Kathy Stedeford, Kris Taylor, Val & Graham Thomas, Julia Walder, Chris Simmonds, George & Margaret Tiedeman, and Alan Davis.