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Guernsey Ports gear up for summer

Guernsey Ports gear up for summer

Thursday 28 March 2024

Guernsey Ports gear up for summer

Thursday 28 March 2024


Guernsey Ports staff are making final preparations ahead of the 2024 boating season, following "a busy programme of winter maintenance to key facilities".

That included pressure washing all deck planking, improvements to pontoon fendering and offering around-the-clock care to more than 1,600 moorings.

Staff also dealt with stormy weather on several occasions, with their swift actions credited with preventing leisure vessels from sinking.

Guernsey Ports said the calmer recent conditions have enabled the team to start preparing for the peak season which is nearing, with 25 sailing events and regattas already booked in, and the first cruise ship of 2024 due to arrive next week.

Ahead of the anticipated rise in numbers, the walk ashore pontoons, which link the Swan pontoons to the Crown Pier for visiting yachtsmen, have been craned back into the water, and the local layby pontoons will be refloated in the coming days too.

Harbour Master Captain David Barker said he and his team have got many highlights to look forward to this summer.

QEII_Marina_March_2024_2.JPG

Pictured: The QEII Marina this month. (Picture supplied by Guernsey Ports).

“It is set to be one of our busiest summers for sailing regattas in recent years," he said.

"The first major event will be the Tresco Trophée, a sailing race from Morlaix to Guernsey, which will bring in up to 100 visiting yachts and hundreds of visiting sailors.

“From 17 to 19 May, the Crown Pier and Victoria Marina will host the Guernsey Boat Show, which is an important showcase for local marine traders.

“Other popular events during the summer months include the Inter Island Yacht Race on 21 June and the Tour de Ports de la Manche, arriving on 9 July for several days, which is another event that typically attracts 500-600 French visitors to our island.”

With the first cruise ship due to arrive next week, some changes have been made to the pedestrian areas on the Albert Pier so it can remain open for car parking more regularly during this summer.

“Our first visiting cruise ship, Hanseatic, is due to arrive here on 7 April,” said Captain Barker.

“There are currently over 70 cruise ships booked in over the coming months, with the largest of those being the Dutch ship Nieuw Statendam, which is due to arrive on 18 April with around 3,200 passengers. We are still seeing enquiries coming in and with the weather set to improve next month, we expect to see lots of visitors coming ashore.”

However, with the Easter weekend's weather looking unsettled, Captain Barker thinks many boat owners will wait a little bit longer before putting to sea.

He is looking forward to seeing them all out though. 

“We have fantastic cruising grounds within the Bailiwick and as the weather improves it will be a pleasure to see our local waters thriving again with local and visiting leisure craft.”

QEII_Marina_March_2024.jpg

Pictured: The QEII marina this month (picture supplied by Guernsey Ports). 

As we head into the peak season, Guernsey Ports is currently recruiting seasonal Marina Attendants, whose job includes welcoming and registering visiting leisure boats, taking payments for their stay, guiding them to their moorings and assisting with any queries.

This is a role that was described as "the best job I've ever had!" by Lieutenant William de la Mare, the Commanding Officer of a Royal Navy ship.

He grew up in Guernsey and worked at the harbour as a school boy before going on to join the navy. 

For more information, contact Assistant Harbourmaster Kieran Higgs.

Pictured top: The visitor marina during summer 2023 (pictured supplied by Guernsey Ports).

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