Plymouth is gaining a global reputation for its cruise ship visits – and especially its red carpet welcome in meeting and greeting passengers on the Barbican, and Trinity Pier at Millbay Docks. 

The beautifully designed Scenic Eclipse Two, which is one of the most technologically advanced cruise ships in the world, and built to cruise the frozen oceans of Antarctica at anchor in the Sound

A group of 20 Plymouth Cruise Ambassador volunteers are lead by award-winning husband and wife team Douglas and Annemarie Kerr, who set up the community organisation back in 2016. 

Husband and wife team Douglas and Annemarie Kerr

The couple are the driving force behind the Cruise Ambassadors with Douglas, a former cruise ship steward, who served on the QE2 and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Douglas felt Plymouth should do more to welcome passengers and crew members on port visits to the city, and follow other places like Falmouth, Torquay, Liverpool, and Dublin in making a real splash in promoting and welcoming cruise tourists,” he said.

In 2023, the Plymouth Cruise Ambassadors were out on every one of the 10 cruise liner visits, and setting up their information stalls, sorting out maps of the city, and making sure all the passengers and crew landing ashore get a proper Janner welcome. 

Douglas, said: “Our team of volunteers arrive very early, and we work in shifts throughout the day and evening providing passengers ashore with any information they need,” he said. 

“Our welcome ceremony includes the Town Cryer, and The Plymouth Maritime Corps of Drums, which is formed from like-minded ex-service musicians and cadets, which adds to an unforgettable city welcome.”

The welcome jigsaw also includes the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Barbican business leaders, ship handlers, and other partners

The Port of Plymouth and Cattewater Harbour Commissioners together with Destination Plymouth – are the key players in organising the cruise liner visits that take years of advance planning for the high-profile cruise visits to the city.

The MV Ocean Nova one of the world’s smallest tailor-made arctic expedition vessels berthed at Trinity Pier for 4 days

The whistle-stop cruise liner visits to Plymouth are providing a multi-million boost to the local economy with 18 ships booked for this year.

Plymouh’s historic Millbay Docks are receiving some serious infrastructure developments with the start of a £1.3 million+ overhaul programme that will secure the future of the Ferry Terminal, increase global freight capacity, promote its green shipping credentials, and especially expand the city’s international cruise trade sector.

 The pinnacle of class the MS Rotterdam arrived at the Plymouth Breakwater

Annemarie, added: “It’s going to be another exciting year for our Cruise Ambassadors and all credit to the team work of all the city’s partners in making Plymouth a great place to visit,” she said.

Douglas has won several prestigious awards for his work in the community including the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, Ocean Hero in sharing Plymouth’s Culture, Heritage and Tourism, and the Steve Whiteway Award in 2021