Join the Cruise Ship Conversation
We'd love to know what you think!
2023 has seen around a dozen cruise calls in Dartmouth, as well as many other large vessels such as tall ships and superyachts. We have had many positive comments about the spectacle of larger vessels in the river, with lots of people out and about on the quaysides and taking pictures. We also had questions as to why larger ships needed to remain at anchor outside the river.
Dart Harbour would like to encourage more cruise ships to visit Dartmouth, by reinstating a former mooring for mid-sized cruise ships to the south of the Lower Ferry. This will lead to around £3 million annual benefit to the town by 2030, when we would expect to have around 20 cruise ships using the mooring per year.
We do not want to overload the town, and will have controls in place on the size of ship, number of calls per year and the environmental impact. Cruise calls tend to be outside of the peak school summer holidays, when the town has plenty of space, and cruise passengers do not use up parking spaces or housing in the town, so they are an ideal fit for Dartmouth. By 2030 we would hope to be bringing around 25,000 cruise passengers to the town annually - around 10% of the number that arrive by steam train. We will have a passenger limit to prevent overcrowding.
Contrary to common belief, cruise ships do not pollute the water in ports, with no discharges of waste. They do have a significant carbon footprint, but the industry is making great strides to reduce this, and the more modern ships we would be attracting are much more efficient. CO2 is a global rather than a local pollutant, so the impact on Dartmouth would be no different to if the ship was in a different port. For many people, large ships in the harbour enhance the views of this vibrant port, whilst others may be concerned. The location we have chosen for MS-0 buoy will minimise the impact on views, and we will also limit the total number of calls per year.
We are carrying out simulator trials, and expect that ships of up to around 270m in length will be able to use the harbour safely, and without significant impact on other river users or the local community.
Dart Harbour is a trust port - we don't make any profit, but instead re-invest in operating and improving the Dart Estuary. The income from these ships will help us with this work.
For further details, please visit dartharbour.org
This survey is to help understand what those living and working in the local area think of our plans, and make any changes that may be needed so that the benefits can be maximised. You are also welcome to come and chat about this proposal in the harbour office, or to attend our drop-in session on 31st August at 18:30 at the Guildhall.