This is to draw attention to what it really means when some of us ask for funding to make our jetty big enough for cruise ships.
The end of the jetty is close to 40 metres wide while a typical cruise ship here is 290m in length. It’s also more than 40m high, so equivalent to a 14-storey building which is obviously a problem for any construction on land.
Obviously, the jetty would need to be significantly taller or ship passengers would be embarking/disembarking by ladder.
Then, of course, ships like this usually tie up alongside the wharfs you find in major, industrial scale ports.
In this orientation, extended into deeper water and raised five or 10 metres to suit height of ship hatches, this really would be a tall and leggy construction, hopelessly vulnerable to being twisted or crushed by vessels of this size and weight, especially in one of our infamous northerly breezes.
Alternatively, jetty could be rebuilt to provide for ships tied up alongside but just imagine how much further out it would need to go, how much bigger and what could we do if it ran aground? Wouldn’t it even be too big to allow for a car ferry?
How many of these things could we possibly attract each year? Surely it would be only a couple or three of the short-range cruises.
Shore excursions from cruise ships are expensive. How many of maybe 2000 passengers actually abandon the cocoon of a cruise ship in Cowes?
How well can we cater for large numbers of people?
How much money do they spend, considering that cruise lines negotiate bargain rates for buses meals and attractions?
How much more sense would it make to reinstate the train line to Anderson and Wonthaggi, with special charge trains for cruise ship folks, directly from Appleton Dock.
And wouldn’t this make so much more sense, with public transport and trains front and centre in all current transport planning? Even us locals could benefit from this.
Bernie McComb, Cowes.