The British city of Plymouth is all set for what will surely be a busy 2020 with it being 400 years since the Mayflower set sail from Devon, an occasion that is set to be marked with many events leading up to the main one on September 16.
During 2020, the Devon maritime port will receive a number of cruise ships that will help boost visitor numbers by almost 15,000.
Amongst the cruise liners set to visit is Disney Magic, the first cruise ship owned and operated by Disney Cruise Line, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
The ship has 11 public decks, can accommodate 2,700 passengers in 875 staterooms, and has a crew of approximately 950.
Disney Magic will be in Plymouth on September 7, 2020, arriving in the Ocean City as part of a round-Britain tour that starts, and ends, at Dover in Kent.
Plymouth will also welcome Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery, a German-built ship that was launched in 2019 and it is due to be in Plymouth twice, first on May 21 and then again on September 16.
The full list of vessels due to visit Plymouth will be released later in the first month of 2020, but those that have already said they will be docking in Devon waters are Azamara Pursuit, Nautica and Braemar.
Azamara Pursuit is due on May 23, on its way from Lisbon, Portugal, bound for Southampton and it will call into Plymouth again on August 20 having travelled from Iceland.
Nautica will be in Plymouth on August 24, three days after Braemar pays a visit.
Associated British Ports (ABP), which runs Millbay docks, is working with Destination Plymouth, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Plymouth City Council, and Brittany Ferries to bring in more ships. Amanda Lumley, executive director of Destination Plymouth, speaking at the Plymouth Tourism and Visitor Economy Conference 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, says:
“We have a dozen cruise ships scheduled to visit with some ships visiting the city twice.
“We also have some great new brands coming to the city, such as Disney Magic and Saga’s Spirit of Discovery.”
She continued: “As a ‘conservative estimate’ we should see around an extra half-a-million visitors, including many from the USA, who will travel to the Ocean City in 2020, adding to the 5.4million tourists that came in 2018.”
That figure represented a five per cent growth on previous years and Mrs Lumley, who has 25 years experience in destination management and marketing, said the Mayflower events would act as a catalyst for future tourism growth.