Orkney copes with cruise ship invasion – BBC News

The number of cruise ship passengers stopping away in Orkney has increased massively recently but the tourist invasion has not all of been plain sailing.

This year, 140 cruise liners may berth at Hatston pier, over the outskirts of Kirkwall, the biggest city on Orkney’s mainland.

More than 130, 000 tourists are required during the season – between the begin of April and the end associated with September – six times the people of the entire Orkney archipelago, which usually lies about 10 miles away from Scotland’s northern tip.

In 2011, the number of cruise line visits for that year was just 36, 500.

Picture caption Hatston terminal, in which the liners dock, is just a short range from the centre of Kirkwall

The boats bringing tourists to Orkney variety in size from a couple of hundred people to the huge MSC Preziosa, the largest ship to have ever berthed generally there.

It arrived upon 10 May with a capacity associated with 4, 345 passengers and one, 400 crew, more than half the size of Kirkwall’s population.

Jimmy Stick, who operates the shuttle coach service that takes passengers in to the town, tells the BBC Scotland documented Orkney: When The Boat Comes In that the increase in cruise ships has become a “very positive thing” for their business.

He admits that: “When we started we had one particular bus and now we have 23. It is far from the only thing that keeps us in business yet it’s a huge factor in the summer period. ”

Image caption Shuttle service bus operator Jimmy Poke states the cruise ships have been a positive point

Nevertheless , Jimmy admits that there is some “negativity” on the island, with shopkeepers stating they sometimes struggle to cope with the top influxes of people and complaining that lots of of the tourists are not big spenders.

Jimmy says: “I still think that if I wasn’t active in the industry I would be happy to discover people here because I like the particular hustle and bustle of it all. ”

By 10: 00 in the morning of the MSC Preziosa’s introduction, 460 passengers have already been shuttled straight into town.

Image caption Judith Stuff says the liner business assists her to survive the winters once the town is “very quiet”

Judith Glue’s shop on the high street, selling knitwear, gifts and jewellery, is doing great business.

She states: “I opened the shop after i was very young and I have seen lots of changes throughout the yrs particularly with the increase in the lining traffic.

“I think it has given us this type of boost in the summer time to have all these individuals coming here.

“There is no way our town center would look as good as it does whenever we did not have those cruise ships. inch

Picture caption The MSC Preziosa is the biggest liner to berth in Kirkwall

She says that the city is “absolutely dead” in The month of january, February and March.

“There are no tourists right here, it is as quiet as something, ” Judith says.

“In order to survive the wintertime we do need these cruise liners. ”

By lunch, Jimmy is already shuttling passengers through the town to get back onboard the particular ship.

He says: “Sometimes people get annoyed because the your meals are all-inclusive on the ship so individuals go back at lunchtime and the coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants in the town state they don’t make a lot. ”

Image caption Lorraine Pilkington-Tait says the meals industry does not do very well out of the lining tourists

At Lolz, owner Lorraine Pilkington-Tait says she feels that the food sector does not do very well out of the liner people.

She surveys the girl crowded cafe and says: “Everybody is having teas and coffees. No one is eating any food.

“We get people being released in and having a cup of coffee, sitting within the wifi, they can stay hours.

“You can’t precisely ask them to move on. ”

‘Spoiling it’

Lorraine also voices the viewpoint that the number of people visiting the tropical isle has spoiled some of its undiscovered magic.

She states: “Some friends of mine who seem to used to come to Orkney feel these types of cruise liners are changing every thing, it’s spoiling it. ”

Recent research recommended that local business-owners were pretty positive about the impact of the line and their passengers but a lot depended on which cruise ship was going to.

High-spending passengers like those who arrived on the recent The disney produtcions Magic cruise were seen to get the most positive benefit.

Image caption Steven Cooper says jewellery can be ideally suited for cruise ship passengers

Jeweller Steven Cooper, owner of Aurora, states: “The jewellery side can be great if you get people coming in and so they want to buy a gold ring.

“I’ve had individuals buying a gold ring or a gemstone for 1, 000 but it is commonly more silver because they are generally purchasing it as gifts.

“Actually last year I had the passenger off a cruise ship that bought a gold bangle for 2, five hundred. It’s great when they do. inch

Steven adds: “Jewellery is ideally suited for cruise ship people because it is a small item which is not really taking space up in their baggage.

“Over plus above that they really like textiles, tartan products etc . That’s quite a huge part of the business. ”

Image caption Kayleigh Archibald, from the Family Cancer Support charity shop, says the particular crew from the liners often store there

One shop that does great business from the cruise liners yet does not attract big spenders will be the Clan Cancer Support charity shop.

Kayleigh Archibald says the particular crew from the liners seem to purchase a lot of bedding and handbags.

She says most of the team are from South Asia.

“They do a lot of buying to take back to their families, ” Kayleigh says.

“The reason they come into charity stores is because it is a bit cheaper. Nowadays they were buying bodywarmers because they had been finding it a bit cold. inch

Orkney: When the Boat Comes In is definitely on BBC One at nineteen: 30 on Monday 31 Come july 1st.