|Cruise ship in the port of San Sebastian last season|
Over the past few years La Gomera has been steadily gaining in popularity as a destination for cruise ships during the winter season. The pier of the island's capital San Sebastian has been extended once again during the summer, this time by a further 115 feet, to accommodate even larger cruise liners. This November alone the harbour will welcome nearly 14.000 cruise ship passengers in total. The largest cruise liner to call will be TUI-owned Mein Schiff 3 with 2500 guests aboard.
While the economic benefits of cruise ship calls are doubted by many locals, as they often see cruise ship passengers just buying a few postcards and stamps before they retire for lunch on their swimming all-inclusive hotels, the promotional value of the visits is often under-estimated. La Gomera has always scored top marks in cruise passenger satisfaction ratings and when these passengers go back home most will recommend La Gomera for a longer holiday to their friends, relatives and neighbours and some will plan a return for a longer stay themselves. The shore excursions have also proven very popular and give direct employment for drivers and guides and additional business for restaurants and shops. Having worked as a tour guide in the past let me tell you that the tips are mostly generous anyway.
|Tour buses awaiting guests one morning last winter|