Largest Cruise Ship to Visit Cornwall Cancels Falmouth Stop

Why did Cornwall’s largest cruise ship of the season cancel its stop in Falmouth right after arriving into the harbour?

The MSC Virtuosa arrived in Falmouth at dawn this week, then promptly left.

People took to Facebook, joking about possible reasons it could have left straight away – but the actual reason was simply due to poor weather.

The Arrival and Departure

The MSC Virtuosa arrived in Falmouth at 6am on Friday, May 31.

At 181,541 tonnes, 331 meters long and with a maximum capacity of 6,334 passengers, it was the biggest scheduled cruise ship in Cornwall this year.

But it departed without letting any passengers off, simply because the northwesterly winds were too strong for it to dock safely.

Impact on Local Businesses

Falmouth Market Street in Summer, Cornwall

Cruise ships are controversial, all over the world, and many Falmouth locals weren’t disappointed to learn that the ship wouldn’t be docking in town.

However, local businesses may not receive an anticipated economic boost from the cruise ship passengers.

Falmouth Harbour CEO mentioned in the Falmouth Packet ““We want these ships and their passengers to have the very best experience here and to come back. The value to Falmouth and Cornwall is immense: with an estimated per passenger spend of £70, this season alone could be worth in the region of £4-6million.”

But over-tourism in Cornwall in the summer is a big problem, so its departure was probably welcome news to some.

Where did the ship go?

While passengers caught a glimpse of Falmouth from their balconies, the ship headed east, past the Cornish, Devon and Dorset coast, before docking in Southampton.

Will it return?

The MSC Virtuosa isn’t scheduled to come to Cornwall for another few months, but it will return in October – weather permitting, of course!

Is Falmouth popular for cruise ships?

View of the Falmouth harbour, Corwall, United Kingdom.

Falmouth has long been a popular destination for cruise ships, with history spanning all the way back to the Falmouth Packet, when it was connected to destinations across the world.

This is thanks to its picturesque harbour, rich maritime history and proximity to some of Cornwall’s most stunning coastal scenery. Falmouth’s deep natural harbour is one of the largest in the world, making it an ideal stop for cruise ships of all sizes.

Each year, the port welcomes up to 40 cruise liners, with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 passengers.

What do you think? Was it a good thing that the ship couldn’t dock, or did local businesses miss out on income? Let me know on Facebook!

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