Dart Harbour is seeking feedback on plans to encourage more cruise ships into Dartmouth – around 20 a year by 2030, bringing in an extra £3million annual income to the town.

Harbour Master Paul Britton said: “Businesses such as shops, cafes and ferries have told us about increased revenue on cruise ship days.

“We believe this will increase with more ships, with benefits also for tourist attractions, marine and transport businesses, and tour guides.”

He said the mid-sized cruise ships could dock in the town’s river at a former mooring to the south of the lower ferry, which Dart Harbour is calling MS-0 buoy.

He said: “This mooring was last used in the 1970s.

“Ships will enter the river stern-first and moor their stern to the new buoy, with their bow held in place with the ship’s anchors.

“A similar technique works well in Fowey.”

Dart Harbour is currently carrying out simulator trials, and expect ships up to 250m long will be able to use the harbour safely, without significant impact.

Paul added: “The manoeuvre to the new mooring is expected to be somewhat simpler than to the current mainstream moorings, and the water is much deeper.

“There will still be ample space for other boats to pass, We won’t allow cruise calls on this mooring during regatta, or River Dart Yacht Club regular scheduled racing without the agreement of the clubs involved.

“We’ll have a passenger limit to prevent overcrowding. And, contrary to common belief, cruise ships do not pollute the water in ports, with no discharges of waste.”

Paul said the cruise ship industry is making “great strides” to reduce the carbon footprint of ships, including more modern efficient vessels that Dartmouth would be attracting.

He added: “CO2 is a global rather than a local pollutant, so the impact on Dartmouth would be no differentto if the ship was in a different port.

“The location chosen for MS-0 buoy will minimise the impact on views, and we will also limit the total number of calls per year.

“Dart Harbour is a trust port – we don’t make any profit, but instead re-invest in operating and improving the Dart Estuary. The income from these ships will help with this work. More larger ships also increases our resilience and diversifies the harbour,”

Paul said the extra income would help with environmental projects on the Dart Estuary, and the Dart Harbour Communities Fund support of young and disadvantaged people using the river.

Cllr Jonathan Hawkins added: “I believe this is an exciting opportunity to bring larger vessels to our community, with a safe morning in our harbour. It can only benefit our community and our businesses.”


The online survey is at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/dartcruise and there’s a drop-in session on August 31 at 6.30pm at the Guildhall.”