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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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The World arrives

The World luxury liner has arrived at Whitehaven - and there are a number of special events lined up over the weekend to mark its arrival.

The World is more of a floating country than a cruise liner with residency prices range from between £500,000 to £13 million. It will sail into Whitehaven Harbour on Saturday.

Tourism chiefs hope that, as well as bringing a significant cash boost to Cumbria, the liner’s two-day visit could lead to other cruise ships dropping anchor in the county.

Between 150 and 200 guests – all staying in private accommodation – will be on-board The World, a Norwegian-designed luxurious 12-deck vessel.

Cumbria Tourism officials have been holdings talks with cruise companies in a bid to entice more liners to dock in the county, even spearheading a new partnership called Cumbria’s Cruise Group.

Chief executive Ian Stephens said: “This is without doubt the world’s most luxurious liner. It is also a very highly visible result of all the work being done by ourselves and partners to put Cumbria on the map in the cruise world. We really hope businesses in the area benefit as a result.”

The World, a 43,000-tonne vessel with a 250-strong crew from 40 countries, is 644ft long and has four restaurants, a 7,000-sq ft spa, onboard nightclubs and is said to be the world’s only private sea-faring residential community.

Its passengers and captain choose where it stops and what they do ashore – with businesses hoping they will explore Whitehaven and the Lake District while docked in Cumbria.

So far this year, the ship has visited Dubai, Thailand, Maldives, Greece, Egypt and Italy as well as Lisbon, Bordeaux and Guernsey.

Mr Stephens added: “If we can attract this calibre of ship to our shores and impress them while they’re here, it can help spread the word about why Cumbria is a must-visit port of call for cruise ships in UK waters.”

Tourism chiefs have launched a worldwide promotion bid to get cruise liners to dock in the county.

Earlier this year, Cumbria was showcased at a major meeting of cruise liner companies attended by more than 10,000 people in Miami, Florida – with firms urged to consider calling in at Whitehaven, Workington or Barrow. Cruise liner companies plan their itineraries and port stops two years in advance. Last year, two ships docked at Barrow. One of them The Tahitian Princess saw hundreds of Americans stop in the town.

A quayside fanfare, organised by West Cumbria Tourism, will welcome The World to Whitehaven. It will feature a Made in Cumbria market showcasing produce from the county, while Copeland Council hope musical entertainment will create a carnival atmosphere. Also planned for the weekend is a continental market and local history tours.

After leaving Whitehaven (Monday morning), The World will set sail for Liverpool and Greenock, near Glasgow.
 

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