The cruise ship MS Rotterdam will not visit Ilfracombe tomorrow (Friday, August 9) due to severe weather.

The Rotterdam's sister ship the MS Prinsendam off Ilfracombe pier in 2016. Picture: Tony GussinThe Rotterdam's sister ship the MS Prinsendam off Ilfracombe pier in 2016. Picture: Tony Gussin

A yellow weather warning issued for strong winds on Friday means the vessel and its 1,000-plus American and European passengers will not be calling in.

Ilfracombe harbour master Georgina Carlo-Paat had received confirmation this morning (Thursday) the Holland America Line ship would arrive and had sent through the relevant paperwork.

Preparations were in place to welcome the visitors, including coach trip excursions.

The Met Office is warning of strong winds in the afternoon on Friday, strengthening into coastal gales later in the day.

Passengers are brought ashore from the cruise ship in small ship's launches that are not practical in very rough weather. Picture: Tony GussinPassengers are brought ashore from the cruise ship in small ship's launches that are not practical in very rough weather. Picture: Tony Gussin

The Rotterdam and its smaller sister the Prinsendam use motor boat launches to ferry their passengers to the shore as the ships are too large to dock at Ilfracombe.

If the weather is too rough it could be unsafe to land passengers and also difficult to return them to the ship if the conditions worsen as forecast.

Bad weather also halted a visit by the Rotterdam in 2011, although the Prinsendam has visited on three occasions, in 2011, 2015 and again in 2016.

Each time the American visitors were charmed by Ilfracombe and the welcome they received.

Town crier Roy Goodwin tells cruise ship passengers on a previous visit about the history of the area.Town crier Roy Goodwin tells cruise ship passengers on a previous visit about the history of the area.