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Cruise ship season


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#21 JustMe

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:13 PM

And there are cash points. Tourists can insert a debit or credit card to get as little as a tenner. And of course if they spend enough (over a tenner in many shops) they can use the same cards to make purchases. And I understand that many cruise ships offer money changing facilities on board. So really no money changing excuse for cruise liner passengers not to spend.

But maybe we need to think about the cruise ship market. A lot of passengers are somewhat senior. Maybe they do not want to go home loaded with purchases. And in the case of fly-cruise passengers maybe they do not have the baggage allowance to do so. Maybe some of them do not really want to spend money ashore. Some may not even want to go ashore.

#22 Ghostrider

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:58 PM

Is the general direction of this thread not something akin to fighting fog? It reads like the assumption has been made from the get go that there is stuff in the town already folk coming off these boats want to buy. Is there?

Some of the practicalities of how these folk are constrained have already been covered, they may not want to lug around bulky purchases, or may not have a baggage allowance elsewhere to cope with them. They may not want to clutter up whatever cabin space they have aboard with anything other than their personal possessions, they're also in a lot of cases putting in to numerous ports throughout their trip, and cannot be expected to spend, spend, spend in every one of them.

Should we not be concentrating on sales of physically small but high margin goods to people like these, something that leaves money here but does not add noticable bulk and weight to the buyer's luggage. Also consumables, food, drink etc. Most importantly should we not be asking those who do come, why they don't spend more. We have pubs, cafes, restaurants, nick nack and "souvenir" outlets etc, what could/should these type of outlets stock/do that would tempt those ashore to spend more, and tempt ashore more of those who at the moment don't bother.

Personally, if I went on a cruise (not that I would ever want to), the hassles of getting ashore and back again in a place like Lerwick would put me right off buying much, or even going ashore at all. If a boat ties up alongside, you simply toddle down the gangplank at your own time and at your leisure, getting aboard a lifeboat, motoring in, climbing up a pier, then repeating the process in reverse later on would put me right off bothering.

#23 hairyian

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

Personally, if I went on a cruise (not that I would ever want to), the hassles of getting ashore and back again in a place like Lerwick would put me right off buying much, or even going ashore at all. If a boat ties up alongside, you simply toddle down the gangplank at your own time and at your leisure, getting aboard a lifeboat, motoring in, climbing up a pier, then repeating the process in reverse later on would put me right off bothering.


Getting on a plane at Sumburgh a bit like mountaineering for you ?

If your here for a weekend then cafes, pubs, culture, even shopping might be on the agenda. But most cruise ships are in for a few hours. Just time to rush round, see an archeologicaly important mess, photo a pony and back onboard for lunch as they sail past Bressay light away to the next stop.

Cruises look to have a stop every day, and sail every night. Shetland is generally a handy distance from other ports. I don't think 'shopping' is going to encourage a longer stay. So, generally we need more specialty things to see / visit. Perhaps make it worthwhile staying longer for passengers doing one tour in the morning and another in the afternoon.
BTW, the cruise company also makes money off the landward tours, so they as keen for this sort of thing as well.

#24 Dratsy

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:28 PM

you don't have to sell something they take away in a box you could be selling them a Shetland experience and charging a lot of money for it and the only baggage is a memory and fotos, people will pay a lot for this if it is packaged right, and I do have quite a bit of experience here by paying a lot to visit and 'immerse' myself in many diverse cultures, (one thing I noticed was no matter where I was on the planet if a cruise ship turned up I had probably seen it in Lerwick and we did not have a scooby when it comes to parting them from their money compared to the locals wherever I happened to be) and at the end of the day what the heck is the point of tourists if you don't part them from their cash. if your tourist business needs subsidy then guess what you should not be in the tourist business.

#25 Para Handy

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:57 PM

You never know there may be a lot of widmill spotters to come.

#26 MJ

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:19 PM

It is frustrating how little is "Sold" to tourists.
Seeing Shetland by public transport for example. All too often I meet folk on the Waas bus who've been told they can see stuff without so much as a map or timetable. Met far too many cold foreigners sitting in our local bus shelter desperately waiting in the vain hope there's a bus coming, it adds to the postcards on the wall I suppose.
Folks are told they can't do day trips to the outerisles. Had one friend who was told he couldn't do a day trip to Whalsay by public transport by the TOURIST OFFICE. All it took was a trip to the bus station for them to highlight the correct buses.
Seeing local leaflets translated by french classes at the school were a help but haven't seen any in a while
But when you're paying £70+ for a seat on a bus and the food on a cruiseliner is so good why would you want to spend more money than you have to?
Some shops like the Stagedoor will post less breakable items (within weight) to addresses in Europe, but not something that was advertised, more discretionary as it has internet sales it wasn't too much hassle to add another package. But there just isn't enough sales to justify opening for the tourist boats.
One thing that frustrated me personally was folks looking for "Scottish" touristy stuff Celtic Knots, Nessies, kilts and alike. Where do you send them? If Shetland is their only stop in Scotland how can the American Tourists show the folks back home they've been to Scotland? Puffins aren't something they really associate with Scotland.

#27 EM

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:10 PM

One thing that frustrated me personally was folks looking for "Scottish" touristy stuff Celtic Knots, Nessies, kilts and alike. Where do you send them?

:D Can't wait to hear Kavi Ugl's reply to that question! I bet it will be: "Scotland."

#28 Kavi Ugl

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:13 PM

Yes, tell them they'll just have to go to Scotland for such things 8)

imho, the cruise companies will just have to do a little more homework and realise that Shetland(thankfully) doesn't do the kilts, bagpipes and tartan blurb.

What we should be doing is creating and selling decent Shetland souvineers, and to be fair I'd say there has been a massive surge in Shetland made products an example of which can be seen at the craft fairs etc so credit where credit is due.

But the fact remains that the single biggest problem is the drab and grey visual character of Shetland.

I was listening to the 60 north tourist channel on the radio a couple of weeks ago and the presenter lady was interviewing a man and woman here on holiday. She asked the man what his thoughts on Lerwick were and there was a small pause for a moment then he stated "well....it's very grey"......

#29 suuusssiiieee

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:38 PM

So you visualise the scene, liner arrives drops the hook, the punters emerge from the tenders and step ashore and you ask yourself what do they see first?...a pier closed to traffic and turned into a bus park, and a lovely chippy!...

Oh remember there is that fabulous welcome enclosure.. which is akin to a glorified portacabin, lightly used at best. There's not even as much as some craft stalls or the like showcasing Shetland products or small gifts whatsoever.

Not even perhaps a small enclosure with a pony or two (for the passenger that can't or are unable to go on a bus tour) to stroke and feed, Wow...makes it all worthwhile coming then? Bar Fort Charlotte, and Clicky Broch & the museum that's about your lot.

Lerwick has been in the dark ages for far to long, street retailers have a negative closed mindset to new ideas and thinking, all lets stick together and don't dare stick your neck out and take a chance springs to mind.

The long and short of it is our island neighbours know how to promote and sell their assets whilst we are struggling to grasp the concept of what that even means! :roll:

#30 bug

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

Most cruise ship passengers arriving in Lerwick will be more than delighted not to be inundated by street traders and hawkers trying to sell them tat and are glad that this fine place can indeed avoid the stereotypical rat race they are probably on holiday to get away from. Many a foreign tour is spoilt by the very fact that some of the ”locals” are trying to make a fast buck and so pester the tourist. The Pepsi stalls at the Pyramids in Egypt and the Time Share traders in Spain and Portugal are examples. I say let visitors find Shetland as it is – “wards” and all 

#31 ArabiaTerra

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:39 AM

You never know there may be a lot of widmill spotters to come.

Is the sawmill at Hays really that special? :wink:

#32 unlinkedstudent

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:43 PM



Personally, if I went on a cruise (not that I would ever want to), the hassles of getting ashore and back again in a place like Lerwick would put me right off buying much, or even going ashore at all. If a boat ties up alongside, you simply toddle down the gangplank at your own time and at your leisure, getting aboard a lifeboat, motoring in, climbing up a pier, then repeating the process in reverse later on would put me right off bothering.


Getting on a plane at Sumburgh a bit like mountaineering for you ?

If your here for a weekend then cafes, pubs, culture, even shopping might be on the agenda. But most cruise ships are in for a few hours. Just time to rush round, see an archeologicaly important mess, photo a pony and back onboard for lunch as they sail past Bressay light away to the next stop.

Cruises look to have a stop every day, and sail every night. Shetland is generally a handy distance from other ports. I don't think 'shopping' is going to encourage a longer stay. So, generally we need more specialty things to see / visit. Perhaps make it worthwhile staying longer for passengers doing one tour in the morning and another in the afternoon.
BTW, the cruise company also makes money off the landward tours, so they as keen for this sort of thing as well.


Me thinks you are missing the point. Are you aware of the average age of those participating in cruising these days? Apparently, Royal Caribbean's average age is 48 yet is it not Saga (over 50s brigade?) that are one company that frequents Shetland? I was unfortunate enough to suffer a week onboard Ocean Village several years ago and that vessel allegedly had an average age of 44; however, the majority of the passengers were in their 60s. Now not all of them were super duper fit pensioners with the majority of them finding getting up out of their bar seat a tad difficult ...

... You may not find it difficult to board a cruise ship's 'ferry to shore' vessel but speaking from experience, a lot of the Ocean Village passengers did. Add to that you often have to wait to get on the damn thing too ...

Yes, most cruise ships do organise and sell tours for the various destinations where the liners dock but if, for example, you have 800 passengers onboard, you find that there are 300 places maximum for said excursions - so what do the rest of the passengers do? Now some just can't be bothered to move from their bar seat and are quite happy to get sloshed/sunbathe on the deck but rest assured, after about 30 minutes you'd get the female of a pensioner couple feeling the all-important urge to part with said hubby's retirement fund via his Mastercard. Indeed, many of us female passengers took delight each evening in showing off our daily purchases.

Alternatively, said passengers may decide that they've had enough of walking the entire length of the cruise ship and don't wish to do it for the 58th time but fancy stretching their legs ashore; the food may be absolutely dire onboard and are lured by the smell of fish n chips, so much so that just an hour in Lerwick to get a break from the cruise ship is just what the doctor ordered (Or escape the mega annoying couple who insist on joining them everywhere they go) or they might want to purchase something from a shop (even a packet of ciggies at a more reasonable price) that they can't get onboard - so yep, why can't some shops in Lerwick open? Certain goods can also get "confiscated"/put into safe keeping by the cruise ship operators - they really don't like you purchasing your own booze (Wet towel always came in handy for that one!) and there is the added joy of queuing for security when returning to the vessel (Especially if you've lost your wrist band and passport).

Incidentally, I have been reliably informed that most of the cruise ships visiting Shetland aren't just here for a few hours - they arrive quite early in the mornings and tend to depart early evening.

#33 shetlandpeat

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:48 PM

You never know there may be a lot of widmill spotters to come.

Is the sawmill at Hays really that special? :wink:


Barking at the wrong tree. :wink:

#34 ll

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:58 PM

So you visualise the scene, liner arrives drops the hook, the punters emerge from the tenders and step ashore and you ask yourself what do they see first?...a pier closed to traffic and turned into a bus park, and a lovely chippy!...

Oh remember there is that fabulous welcome enclosure.. which is akin to a glorified portacabin, lightly used at best. There's not even as much as some craft stalls or the like showcasing Shetland products or small gifts whatsoever.

Not even perhaps a small enclosure with a pony or two (for the passenger that can't or are unable to go on a bus tour) to stroke and feed, Wow...makes it all worthwhile coming then? Bar Fort Charlotte, and Clicky Broch & the museum that's about your lot.

Lerwick has been in the dark ages for far to long, street retailers have a negative closed mindset to new ideas and thinking, all lets stick together and don't dare stick your neck out and take a chance springs to mind.

The long and short of it is our island neighbours know how to promote and sell their assets whilst we are struggling to grasp the concept of what that even means! :roll:



With 16 shops now reported to be closed in da toon, it would be good if the excellent traders stalls which were used at Flavour of Shetland and Tall Ships could be set up where the old toilets were and rented out for a daily fee during the cruise ship season instead of sitting gathering dust in a warehouse in da Ness.

LPA may loose out on a bit of revenue for half a dozen cars for a few months, but if this could help improve the visitors experience and possibly get a few more liners each year it would be worth while.

There may be a few retailers present on the LPA board including the currant chairman who likely look after their own interests, but this could help inject some new bustle into the seafront and Lerwick as a whole.

#35 suuusssiiieee

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 08:38 AM

I see an updated liner list dated yesterday showing a very poor 43 bookings for this year, got to say the downward trend has started already it seems.

Perhaps when the new fishmarket is ready work could start on a decent deep water quay for the "big ships" near the town centre? It really is needed and jolly quickly as cruise ships just don't like tendering much - that's a fact.

Look at what the expanded Hatston Pier has done for attracting the big modern cruise ships this year and next...hate to say it but i was right LPA, Lerwick, Shetland, your getting by-passed and left behind!

#36 SEamAN

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 06:49 AM

Just a thought... the old john leask travel agent building would make a perfect spot for cafe/bar/shetland products. Probably make a good profit and actualy have a cafe in a good location with a harbour view... good for the tourists and very close. Any one got the capital...?

#37 suuusssiiieee

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:16 AM

Wish i had, and you make a very good point...

This would seem to be what our near neighbours south are doing next to keep the cruise ships happy.

KIRKWALL RETAILERS SHOW EXCELLENT INTEREST IN CRUISE WORKSHOP
http://www.orkneyhar...tail.asp?id=253

This would be unthinkable for Shetland to come up with, not just now but at any stage in the future, thinking ahead and outside the box.

The whole Orcadian product is sold hard, slick, and efficiently. As an example even the "new" NorthLink menu is dominated by Orcadian produce for instance. Shetland really needs to wake up.

Facilities are marketed correctly and with forward thinking ideas.

The marketing for here is a shambles..

#38 Silvercloud

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:35 AM

Hi,

Its not just that we need colourful building though . Do visitors really want to see some of the junk that lying around or cars rusted and dumped or do the locals really want this where they live??
Some areas/villages really do need a good tidy up. Visitors passing through places, nice area shame about the mess doesn't leave a good lasting impression.

Grey buidling if they are traditional can look nice, look whole lot better if grass verges were kept reasonbly neat ,litter picked up scrap metal put neatly in a pile is better than seen scattered about.

Some places bodrering scrap junk yards and that what visiors notice.
Especially when so many gardens open and on view, I know its down to individuals and it its up to themselves what they do with their gardens etc some areas are spoilt just by genral lack of thought and mess.

#39 Frances144

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 10:59 AM

That Leasks building would make an excellent "Craft Village".

As the owner of the two ponies that wore the cardigans, I have offered to bring them down to meet and greet on behalf of VS. The offer is there.

#40 suuusssiiieee

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Posted 10 March 2013 - 12:57 PM

Frances that is a very generous offer and one i would hope they would take up.

It would give cruise passengers, other tourists, and even locals the chance to get up close and see the ponies, i think this idea would be very popular.