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Just Back From Portugal’s Douro River: Cruising On A New Viking River Ship
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Guernsey Set to Welcome First Cruise Ship After More Than Two-Year Break
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Guernsey Set to Welcome First Cruise Ship After More Than Two-Year Break

Guernsey Set to Welcome First Cruise Ship After More Than Two-Year Break
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April 14, 2022

Adam Coulter
U.K. Managing Editor
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(6:45 p.m. BST) -- Guernsey is set to welcome the first cruise ship since October 2019 on Friday, April 15.

The 230-passenger Hanseatic Spirit will call in at the island on Good Friday -- marking the return of cruise to Guernsey, and the first of 96 planned port calls this year.

Other lines due to call in this year include Princess Cruises, with 21 calls with four ships, including Emerald Princess which calls in on May 3.bP&O Cruises will also visit the island with two ships, Aurora and Ventura.

On April 30, the island will welcome its biggest-ever ship -- MSC Cruises' 4,475-passenger MSC Virtuosa.

The Channel Island was one of the most popular British Isles ports of call up until COVID-19, regularly welcoming more than 100 ships per year.

The island saw no ships in 2020. Unlike the rest of the British Isles, Guernsey chose to close its doors to cruise ships for the whole of 2021, however. That means the return of cruise this week marks a significant moment, according to Cruise Operations Manager Isabel de Menezes.

"We've had such a positive reaction from the islanders. One good thing to come out of all of this is people are saying: 'We can't wait to have the ships back.'"

The island has a number of new attractions opening this year, as well as the perennial favourites including The Little Chapel, the German hospital and of course the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society tours.

Hauteville House St Peter Port Guernsey (Photo by Adam Coulter)

Two of the biggest new openings are Hauteville House, the home of playwright and novelist Victor Hugo for 14 years. The property in St Peter Port, overlooks the harbour and also has views to France, from which he was exiled. During his time in exile, he wrote Les Miserables.

The attraction was completely refurbished in late 2019.

German built Batterie Mirus Guernsey (Photo by Adam Coulter)

Batterie Mirus, one of four huge battlements built during the World War II occupation, has also been refurbished and will open for the first time to non-islanders this spring.

Tuk Tuk Tour Guernsey (Photo by Adam Coulter)

The island has also seen the launch of a unique way to get around -- Tuk Tuk tours, which can be booked independently and include a visit to the island's only cider-making farm, Rocquettes.

In terms of COVID-19 protocols, de Menezes explained that all cruise staff with passenger contact will be tested daily, as will all coach operators, tour guides and port agents. Passengers will also be required to wear masks on island buses, but all other COVID protocols have been scrapped.

"We have less staff than we had pre-pandemic, but we've been investing in the team to give cruise passengers the best experience," she added.

The last call to St Peter Port is scheduled on October 30th. The island hopes that in 2023, the cruise call numbers will return to pre-pandemic levels.

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