Saturday, November 01, 2014

Cruise ship season has begun

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


Grant said...

I've been travelling to Gomera for 15 years and this is horrendous news.

Willie La Gomera said...

Well, cruise ships have been coming to the Canary Islands for much, much longer than 15 years, without too many people noticing :-))

Anonymous said...

Is this picture really from San Sebastian and not from one of the other islands ? It makes me a bit anxious, and I hope this huge busses not will cause serious accidents on the narrow, winding roads at La Gomera.

(by the way: thank you for a very interesting blogg as we visit Gomera every year)

Willie La Gomera said...

and yes, the picture was taken by me on the pier in San Sebastian last year. Don't worry though, many more buses (mostly day-tours from Tenerife) have been travelling the narrow roads on most days for a good few years without any problems. The hired cars sometimes do cause problems as some tourist drivers aren't used to narrow country roads. The local drivers are experts even when driving trucks and buses on the narrowest stretches.