Sailing ship sticks with Brac call

| 19/02/2015 | 2 Comments
CNS Business

MS Star Flyer

(CNS Business): Cayman Brac has secured a more permanent place on the port of call list for the magnificent MS Star Flyer, a tall sailing ship which will be visiting the island in peak seasons on Wednesdays until 2016. An impressive spectacle with 16 white sails, the 370-foot luxury Swedish sailing ship carries up to 170 passengers. It began visiting the Cayman Islands a year ago and added five stops in Cayman Brac on a trial basis, which has proved a great success.

The ship is now scheduled for a weekly visit to the island between November 2014 and March 2015, docking either at Cemetery Pier or Channel Wharf, depending on the weather, and local vendors have seized the opportunity to greet passengers and offer a range of souvenirs, arts, crafts and local foods.

“The Star Clippers Cruise Line is a perfect match for Cayman Brac and their sailing ship is precisely the size of vessel we have been seeking to attract. I am very pleased this magnificent ship will continue calling on Cayman Brac and look forward to each visit bringing more business for the Island,” said Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell.

“Although Star Clippers are the largest tall ship cruise line in the world, life on board is relaxed and the atmosphere is warm and familial. This is totally in line with the guest experience we are providing, which begins with passengers being greeted with a warm and friendly welcome and carries through to the laid back atmosphere of the craft market, and to the island excursions which are hassle-free and not overly convoluted,” he added.

Officials said that the logistics of the cruise visits are coordinated through the District Administration marketing and promotions unit, which partners with the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism to provide an information booth at the pier.

“The Star Clippers Cruise line has been keen to ensure that its passengers are able to enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure while visiting Cayman Brac,” said Chevala Burke, Marketing Manager at District Administration, who has helped to coordinate visitor activities. “We have evidently surpassed their expectations. Feedback from passengers and crew has been positive, and many have commented on how clean and serene the island is.”

She added that the most common sentiment expressed by guests is: “The people are amazing, we will be back,” she said.

Tags:

Category: Cruise Tourism, Tourism

Comments (2)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Both passengers and crew come off of the ship and buy goods at the supermarkets, restaurants, bars, etc. Unfortunately, people don’t see the bigger picture which is that they will like the place and come back for a longer stay and/or tell their friends who will want to visit.

    Perhaps, you can Google the ship and find the other information.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Great success”? Really? For whom? My s/o and I were there during one of the ship’s calls on Cayman Brac and the “craft market” didn’t exactly look over-crowded, if you know what I mean. Vendor personnel outnumbered “shoppers”. One of the vendors lamented to us that it was pretty much not worth their time to be there. My take on it is that the Brac vendors who turn up are so desperate for any business and relative to the Brac’s blighted economy, “Part of a loaf is better than no loaf at all” applies. Perhaps I got the wrong impression, but it seems that the locals are there more as a PR thing and community service to make the Brac look good than for any serious profit motive. Nothing better to do anyway. Pretty sad.

    We note that Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell chose his words carefully when he said that looks “…forward to each visit bringing more business for the Island.” God forbid it brings less. Note he made no comment saying anything like the cruise visits being a nice boost to the Brac economy.

    We also note that Chevala Burke, Marketing Manager at District Administration, stated that “We have evidently surpassed their (the cruise line’s) expectations”, and that, “Feedback from passengers and crew has been positive”. Ok, we have heard from the government side: so, CNS, what about feedback from the vendors and other just plain everyday Brac citizens who are involved in the ship’s call? What do they really think?

    The article states the capacity of the vessel, but my question is: how many passengers on the average come ashore on Cayman Brac? What is the average amount on the average that each passenger spends on Cayman Brac? I would assume that government is making something with Customs/Immigration attendance and port charges etc. But what about private entrepreneurs? The Brac making any money on this? From what we have seen, I am having my doubts.

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