COWES HARBOUR COMMISSION PROMOTES CRUISE CALLS TO ISLE OF WIGHT

Cowes Harbour Commission is working proactively with Destination Cowes and the Island’s tourism organisation Visit Isle of Wight to promote Cowes as a unique destination port-of-call, encouraged by the rising demand in the cruise ship market, including growth in the Northern European luxury cruise market.

Cowes offers exceptional visitor appeal with cruise ship passengers able to visit world famous tourist attractions such as Queen Victoria’s magnificent Osborne House in East Cowes, the palatial royal residence used as the setting for the major feature film Victoria and Abdul.

Every year, a number of small and medium-sized cruise ships on Northern European itineraries are welcomed to the Isle of Wight to enjoy the delights of Cowes, as well as the Island’s stunning coastlines and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. The new Cowes Harbour Commission initiative seeks to secure increased cruise calls to Cowes for the benefit of the harbour, town and local economy.

Harbour Master Captain Stuart McIntosh said: “We are excited at the prospect of welcoming more visiting cruise ships to Cowes, one of the world’s most famous sailing destinations. However, a visit to Cowes puts cruise guests within easy reach of a multitude of landmark attractions and diverse excursion choices on the Isle of Wight, hence why our Island is often referred to as England in miniature.”

Cowes is ideally located on the central south coast of the UK and is a cost-effective stopover port for European and UK cruise itineraries. The sheltered anchorage offers ample swinging room with a quick tender run to Trinity Landing for disembarkation. Cruise visitors arrive onto The Parade, which is next to Henry VIII’s “Cowes Castle”, home to the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron and in the heart of Cowes.

After alighting at Trinity Landing, cruise guests may discover the historic town of Cowes and home of world yachting. Opportunities could include a guided tour of the remarkable Sir Max Aitken maritime history museum, housing a collection of unique nautical artefacts, then lunch at a local yacht club and boutique shopping in Cowes High Street.

Nearby in Newport is Carisbrooke Castle, an Elizabethan artillery fortress, a king’s prison and royal summer residence. Inspiring countryside, historic houses and ancient monuments, beautiful beaches, coastal towns and pretty villages, are all just a few minutes apart from each other on a safe and welcoming Island.

Cruise vessels up to 150m LOA can use the Cowes anchorage in the Solent, with a 5 minute tender run to Trinity Landing, while larger vessels over 150m LOA are safely anchored in the ABP Anchorage, from where it is a 15 minute tender trip ashore to the boutique shops, galleries, and cafés in the winding streets of Cowes with its stunning views over the Solent.

To find out more about Cowes as a destination port-of-call, please contact the Harbour Office by telephone on +44 (0)1983 293952, by email to chc@cowes.co.uk or visit cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/cruise for more information.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Cowes Harbour Commission:

Cowes Harbour Commission is the statutory harbour authority for Cowes Harbour on the Isle of Wight. The Commission’s vision, strategic objectives and guiding policies for the future of Cowes Harbour are set out in its Strategic Plan 2016-2021. The Commission’s area of jurisdiction commences from the Prince Consort north cardinal buoy in the Outer Harbour and extends south down the River Medina to the Folly.

Cowes Harbour is a key economic driver and gateway to the Island. Ferries and commercial ships enter the harbour 24/7 and carry approximately three million passengers, plus freight and coaches, and 99% of all the bulk shipping import and export goods for the Island, including fuel supplies. Yachting, power boating and the marine services sector also create local jobs and contribute in excess of £25 million to the local economy in Cowes and the Medina Valley.

Cowes is an economical port-of-call for European and UK cruise itineraries. Cowes Harbour Commission provides pilotage for cruise vessels using the Cowes anchorage “C1”, suitable for cruise vessels up to 150m dependent on weather conditions. ABP Southampton provides pilotage for cruise vessels over 150m using the “ABP Anchorage”. Tenders disembark their passengers at the Trinity Landing pontoons. The landing is rigged with a marquee and a welcoming party will be on station to assist passengers. Coach parking facilities are located at the head of the gangway ramp. Cowes is fully ISPS compliant and will provide licensed security staff for the ship to shore connection. This will be arranged via the cruise line’s appointed agent; however, if this is the vessel’s first UK port-of-call, Customs and immigration will attend the vessel on arrival for efficient clearance.

Multimedia:

  1. Photos of cruise ships L’Austral and Ocean Majesty at Cowes
  2. PDF of Cruise to Cowes guide
  3. Digital Cruise to Cowes guide: cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/cruise_to_cowes_guide

High resolution copies available on request.

Media Contact:

Louisa Mamakou, Communications & Marketing Officer, Cowes Harbour Commission, Harbour Office, Town Quay, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AS. Tel: +44 (0)1983 293952. Email: louisa.chc@cowes.co.uk

Queries – For any further information, please contact the Cowes Harbour Office on Tel: +44 (0)1983 293952. Website: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk

Cowes Harbour Commission Newsletters – Subscribe to Cowes Harbour news:

cowesharbourcommission.co.uk/sign_up_to_newsletters

Destination Cowes:

Destination Cowes is a public-private partnership of key local organisations that promotes Cowes as an attractive destination for visitors. The website for Cowes, the maritime gateway to the Isle of Wight, can be found at: www.cowes.co.uk.

Visit Isle of Wight:

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk, the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org.

 

GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE DANCING – JACK UP THE 80’s 2018

Grammy Award-winning and international chart-topping British music legend Leo Sayer has been announced as the second artist to perform at next year’s Jack Up The 80s festival which takes place over the weekend of 11th and 12th August.

Organisers said “Leo is one of the most requested artists we’ve ever had. A superb entertainer with a timeless voice, he played a blistering set for us back in 2015 and left the crowd wanting more. Leo is returning to the UK next Summer to play a select number of dates. We’re delighted to have secured his return to Jack Up The 80s at our new home Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde, in response to public demand.”

Leo and his band will be playing a set crammed full of his numerous Top 10 hits including Thunder In My Heart, You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, The Show Must Go On, More Than I Can Say, How Much Love, One Man Band, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Moonlighting and many, many more.

A larger than life personality, Leo says he’s thrilled to be performing at Jack Up The 80s; “Being a South coast boy I’ve always loved the Isle of Wight and recall fondly my first trip there for the 1970 pop festival. The buzz I got from the crowd last time at Jack Up The 80s was absolutely fantastic, I can’t wait to do it again.”

Leo Sayer is held in great esteem as a live performer and recording artist by all age groups – from 6 to 60. This is as much due to his appearing famously with the Muppets, the Wiggles and on the Charlie’s Angels Soundtrack, as the countless hit songs he has written and recorded throughout his 40 plus years’ career. In the international music charts, there have been more than twenty top ten singles and five top ten albums in his illustrious recording career. Add to this the hits written for Roger Daltrey, Cliff, Three Dog Night, Tina Turner, Gene Pitney, Jennifer Warnes and Dolly Parton. It proves his prowess as an internationally acclaimed and talented songwriter. Now Leo is based in Australia, where he is busier and in more demand than ever.

Organisers warn that 2018 tickets for the ever-popular event will be strictly limited owing to the success of Jack Up The 80s vol5 earlier this year which saw sell-out crowds.

Mainstream Early Bird tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd January and will be available to purchase from jackupthe80s.co.uk. A limited number will also available at over the counter from outlets on the Isle of Wight.

The earlier you buy the greater the saving!

The festival will once again be working with partners Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel to arrange travel packages from the mainland.

 

Copy ends

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information please contact Sarah Moss, Event Manager Email: sarahemmamoss@gmail.com. Telephone: 07876 631456

 

JACK UP THE 80s FIRST LINE UP ANNOUNCEMENT CONFIRMED

British pop group T’Pau who had a string of Top 40 hits in the late 1980s including the Number One ‘smash’ China in Your Hand are the first eagerly anticipated name out of the hat for next Summer’s Jack Up The 80s festival.

The band, led by flame haired 80s sensation Carol Decker will be transporting audiences back to their youth by performing tracks such as Heart and Soul, Secret Garden, Valentine and many more.

T’Pau played the Isle of Wight Festival in 2013 and packed out the big top with their energetic set. They can’t wait to make a return visit to the Island for their first ever Jack Up The 80s appearance in August 2018.

Back for a sixth year, this will be the retro pop festival’s second year at Smallbrook Stadium in Ryde. Owing to the success of the event earlier this year which saw sell-out crowds, organisers have advised that 2018 tickets will be strictly limited.

“We’ve listened to who you want back but have also booked a number of superb fresh names. We’re excited to be revealing details of next year’s line-up in the coming weeks and months, all great household names guaranteed to get you up on your feet reliving the good times. Stay tuned for a superb mix of upbeat party bands and feel-good favourites.”

Jack Up The 80s will take place over the weekend of 11th and 12th August. The highly-acclaimed event provides a family weekend of musical entertainment from chart names, food, attractions, kids arts and crafts and stalls.

Mainstream Early Bird tickets go on sale on Monday 22nd January and will be available to purchase from jackupthe80s.co.uk. A limited number will also available at over the counter from outlets on the Isle of Wight.

Remember, the earlier you buy the greater the saving!

The festival will once again be working with partners Wightlink, Red Funnel and Hovertravel to arrange travel packages from the mainland.

Copy ends

Notes for Editors

  1. For further information please contact Sarah Moss, Event Manager Email: sarahemmamoss@gmail.com, Telephone: 07876 63145

Enjoy a Victorian Christmas with Visit Isle of Wight

Visitors to the Isle of Wight can immerse themselves in a Victorian Christmas this winter with a variety of festive events and traditional entertainment from times gone by.

The Victorian era has seen a resurgence thanks to the recently released film Victoria & Abdul and ITV’s drama Victoria, so why not see how Christmas was celebrated by Queen Victoria and the Royal family in the Queen’s favourite home by the sea at Osborne? On selected dates in December, Christmas at Osborne offers festive guided tours to see the house ‘dressed’ for Christmas as it would have been during the Royal reign with Christmas trees, rooms decorated throughout and grand dining tables set for a festive feast.

For the first time ever, Osborne is opening its grounds after dark with a stunning fairytale of light, colour and sound. Enchanted Osborne takes place from 15-23 December. Follow an illuminated, festive garden trail swathed in strings of lanterns and fairy lights and emerge into a scene of a traditional fairground with a myriad of old-fashioned entertainment.

In addition, The Spectacular Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival, which takes place 7-10 December, sees local churches, pubs and community halls in and around Brighstone and Mottistone, come together to showcase over 200 ‘theme decorated’ trees.

The totally unique and free event includes Santa’s Snowy Grotto, musical entertainment with concerts and carol singing, craft fairs, lace-making demonstrations, handbell ringing and an outdoor nativity pageant performed with local cast and musicians. The tree displays then continue in three locations from 11 December to 2 January, without the additional activities, at The Parish Church, the Isle of Wight Pearl and the Methodist Chapel.

David Thornton, CEO of Visit Isle of Wight, said: “The Isle of Wight is a magical place to be during the festive season with its thatched pubs, spectacular coastal winter walks and quintessentially English villages. But the Island’s connections with Queen Victoria and its popularity amongst figures of note during the Victorian era – Edward Lear, Alfred Tennyson and Charles Dickens to name a few – means that visitors can step into England’s past. If you want to experience authentic or traditional Christmas celebrations, the Isle of Wight is the place to be.”

For additional seasonal fun this December, kids will love Santa’s Specials at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway with its Winter Wonderland, Christmas market, live music, entertainment and magic shows, all rounded off with a visit to see Father Christmas and a trip aboard a majestic steam train.

For those coming to the Isle of Wight to discover a Victorian Christmas, there is a huge choice of accommodation across the Island. Stay in cosy thatched cottages, seaside apartments, boutique B&Bs, luxury hotels, pooch-friendly pads or large, self-catering properties for big groups.

A two-night stay on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis at The Hambrough, Ventnor costs from £210 per person based on two people sharing an executive sea view room. Valid from 26 November to 21 December 2017, Tuesday to Saturday, the price includes return car ferry crossing from Southampton with Red Funnel.

For more information and other Christmas offers, visit www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/victorianchristmas

-ENDS-

 For further information, please contact:

Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

 Notes to Editors

About Visit Isle of Wight:

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight. As well as the consumer website www.visitisleofwight.co.uk the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities www.visitwight.org

Get social media updates from Visit Isle of Wight. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/VisitIOW, https://twitter.com/VisitIOW, https://instagram.com/visitisleofwight/, https://www.youtube.com/user/VisitIsleofWight, https://plus.google.com/114584030216192729120/posts

IW Mardi Gras 2018: A global celebration!

The New Carnival Company is set to launch the narrative for the annual Isle of Wight Mardi Gras at a celebration event at Ryde Academy Studio Theatre on Thursday 16th November at 17:30.

The IW Mardi Gras always adopts a relevant and educational theme allowing school and community groups to undertake a programme of research and learning prior to designing, producing and performing spectacular carnival costumes. Themes in recent years have included ‘Shakespeare 400’ commemorating  the anniversary of the passing of the Bard and ‘Reflections of India’ celebrating the links between the Island, Queen Victoria and India on the 70th anniversary of the country’s independence.

In 2018 the theme will be ‘Global Biospheres’ and will be produced to support the IW Area of Outstanding Beauty’s application to have the Island recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Richard Grogan, AONB Lead Officer explained “The aim of Biospheres is to showcase on a global stage an area where communities are finding ways to bring together the conservation of the stunning places in which they live with the continuing sustainable use of those areas. If we are successful in our campaign to have the Isle of Wight recognised, the reward is international recognition through the formal UNESCO Biosphere designation which puts us up there with Mount Olympus in Greece, Mata Atlantica Rain Forest in Brazil and Yellowstone National Park, USA.  We want to tell the Island about this and working with the New carnival Company on their 2018 Mardi Gras theme seemed an ideal opportunity”

In 2018 the Mardi Gras will be exploring in detail some of the 635 reserves across the globe of which there are only two in England. Then in the following year we will be looking at the Isle of Wight itself for our creative inspiration.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director for the NCC added “We are delighted to be working with the AONB on the prestigious project. Groups taking part will be supported to understand what the fantastic opportunities being recognised as a UNESCO Global Biosphere mean and then to work with us in a creative programme to make and showcase spectacular costumes”

Representatives from the AONB and the IW Music Hub, who are supporting Mardi Gras 2018, will also be presenting at the launch event to explain other opportunities to get involved this exciting project.

Any school, youth or community group wanting to take part in the event in 2018 is encouraged to attend the launch meeting or register an interest with the NCC on 01983 716095 or frankie@thenewcarnivalcompany.com.

The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras: ‘Global Biospheres’ will take place on Saturday 30th June, 3pm on the streets of Ryde.  The project is already attracting international attention.

Notes to Editor

  1. The New Carnival Company CIC (The NCC) is the leading carnival arts development agency in the south of England. The NCC is proud to be part of Arts Council’s England’s (ACE) National portfolio, a kite mark for Quality and Innovation in the arts.
  2. The Isle of Wight Mardi Gras was formerly known as the Arts Parade and began in 2003 with the aim of encouraging and supporting more schools and youth organisations to get involved in the creative side of carnival. Today it is the leading young people’s carnival in the south of England.
  3. Mardi Gras translates as Fat Tuesday from the French and celebrates the last day of feasting and merriment before the traditional Christian period of Lent. The word Carnival is Latin for Farewell to Meat, also referring to festivities held at that time. Many of the famous carnivals in the world including Rio Carnival, Trinidad Carnival, Venice Carnival and New Orleans Mardi Gras take place in February on Pancake Day.

Press contact: chris@thenewcarnivalcompany.com