Cruise ship set to make waves in North Devon
Arrival date looms for gigantic ocean liner
ILFRACOMBE is getting ready to roll out the red carpet for the largest cruise liner ever to visit North Devon.
The final preparations are being made to welcome around 1,300 passengers of MV Rotterdam on Sunday, May 29.
Harbour Master Rob Lawson said: “When the Hanseatic cruise ship visited Ilfracombe back in 2006, it drew in swarms of locals eager to catch a glimpse of it and there was a real buzz about the town.
“We’re expecting the Rotterdam to have a similar effect and we’re working hard to make sure that the town is ready.
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“We are urging local visitors to use the park and ride facilities if they are driving in for the day, as we’re expecting the town car parks and roads in the centre of Ilfracombe to be very busy. Usual parking charges will apply but the bus ride is provided free of charge.”
A park and ride service will be running every half an hour from Hillsborough car park (at the swimming pool) to the pier, running through the High Street so that visitors can forget about their car for the day.
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The cruise ship visit coincides with a bank holiday weekend so the town is laying on extra entertainment to give the town a lively party feel.
Ilfracombe’s town crier will be issuing a warm, and loud, welcome to all visitors throughout the day and a stream of entertainers will be performing on the pier, seafront and bandstand including Blazing Sounds youth band, a selection of folk, jazz, and R&B solo performances, Humdrum Conundrum street drummers, North Devon Pipes and Drums, Ilfracombe Male Voice Choir and the Red Petticoats clog dancers.
The Landmark will also be open for tours and there will be crafts and local produce stalls, a bouncy castle and a village fete on the seafront with traditional games and entertainment.
High Street traders are opening up for the day and artists of the Ilfracombe Arts and Crafts Society will be working and exhibiting in the Emmanuel Church. Local shops and restaurants are even gearing up to accept dollars for their American guests.
For a full programme of events visit www.visitilfracombe.co.uk. Details of Ilfracombe car parks can be found at www.northdevon.gov.uk/parking.