Dover invests further in business development
Previously with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Limbrick was instrumental in putting Azamara Club Cruises on the map in the UK and Ireland. She commented: “It’s important to have an understanding of the expectations of cruiselines and their guests - what they are looking for in a port, what their guests expect when they arrive”.
Being a local she is well-placed to ‘sell’ the destination. “A large proportion of cruise guests come from US, Canada and Europe and for them Dover is an iconic place to sail into with its castle and white cliffs. Our aim is to build on that history. I want more cruise lines to not only come into the Port of Dover but also to stay longer on each visit.”
In September the port joined forces with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in promoting Cruise Week which encourages those who have not cruised before. Andy Harmer, director CLIA, said: “This is our eighth year of celebrating cruise holidays. The reason behind Cruise Week is that we want to share with travellers the vast range of options available on board a cruise, from the ship size and facilities, to the choice of destinations, both on oceans and rivers.”
About £120m (E170m) is being invested in renovating the Western Docks, including a new marina and piazza, adjacent to the cruise terminals. The redevelopment will complement the recent £10million restoration of Dover’s cruise terminal one which was built in 1914.
The port handles 13 million passengers, 2.5m freight vehicles and £100bn of UK/European trade each year. In terms of the cruise business, there are two dedicated cruise terminals and three cruise berths. In 2014 there were 122 calls bringing 190,000 passengers.