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Isle of Man welcomes first Cruise Ship of the Year 15 May 2007

On Friday 18 May the Isle of Man will welcome its first cruise vessel of 2007, the MS Astor. Arriving from Dublin, the 176m long, 20,000 ton vessel, carrying up to 950 passengers and crew, is scheduled to arrive in Douglas Bay at 07.00, as part of a round Britain nature and culture cruise. She last visited the Island in 1997.

The MS Astor, operated by Transocean Cruise Lines, will anchor in Douglas Bay and passengers, of whom are mostly German, will come ashore by tender. A welcoming committee will greet the passengers when they arrive at the pier.

Organised tours have been arranged and will include a visit to Laxey and the Woollen Mills, Tynwald Hill and Cregneash folk village. Castle Rushen will also benefit from having hundreds of passengers visiting its grounds, exhibits and gift shop.

Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw said:

‘It gives me great pleasure to welcome this splendid cruise ship. I hope the passengers enjoy our beautiful Island and they will go home and tell their friends all about their visit. The key is getting people to come back to the Isle of Man to ensure that it becomes a popular point of call. Visits by cruise ships are a great way of marketing the Island and the Department has been working hard to encourage more to visit. A total of ten visits are confirmed during 2007.’

The MS Astor will depart for Belfast at 23.00. This will be the first of two visits this year and she will return to the Isle of Man on 15 September.

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