Cruise ship calls in at Eyemouth

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The first cruise ship to visit Eyemouth, the MS Hanseatic, returned to the port this month for its second visit.

The vessel berthed in Eyemouth bay, off Fort Point, on Saturday, June 17, and passengers were tendered ashore to the pontoons in the inner harbour.

Tendering passengers ashore to the landing pontoon.

Tendering passengers ashore to the landing pontoon.

Once ashore many of the 176 German passengers took advantage of the glorious weather and headed into the town, visiting Eyemouth Museum, Gunsgreen House and enjoying fish and chips and ice creams in the sunshine.

Other passengers took pre-arranged tours to St Abbs nature reserve and some went further afield to Holy Island and Alnwick Castle; the St Abbs tour party having plenty of time to explore Eyemouth on their return to the harbour.

Speaking on behalf of the Chamber of Trade in Eyemouth, Kerry Waddell said: “The ship’s visit brought valuable interest in and custom to the town and area and it was fantastic that the passengers got to see our corner of the Berwickshire coast in such glorious weather! We look forward to many more visitors from similar vessels discovering all that we have to offer.”

Eyemouth’s relatively new status as a cruise ship port is something that Eyemouth Harbour Trust has been working on for some years as it looks to expand the port’s business beyond its traditional role as a fishing port.

In 2014 the harbour trust secured Coastal Communities Fund and European Fisheries Fund Axis 4 grants to install a new visitor pontoon in the harbour at a cost of £153,000. It created additional pontoon berths with shore access gangway to attract more leisure craft to stop off at Eyemouth and it is currently working hard to secure the harbour as a service port for future North Sea offshore wind farms.

Passengers on MS Hanseatic’s ‘Expedition to the British Isles’ cruise boarded in Lisbon, Portugal, and Eyemouth was the final port on their itinerary before the five star cruise ship, owned by the Hapag-Lloyd cruise line, headed to Hamburg.

The St Abbs lifeboat crew took full advantage of an exercise session while the cruise ship was berthed in Eyemouth bay.

During the exercise, which included a couple of coastal familiarisation trips for two potential new boat crew, they took the opportunity to have a close up look at the expedition cruise ship.