Simply Scilly Blog

About the Isles of Scilly … everything from events to news to pictures to how to get here and have a great holiday!

The Marco Polo Arrives on the Isles of Scilly on the 27th, just days ahead of the World Pilot Gig Championships (May Bank Holiday Weekend).

The Marco Polo Arrives on the Isles of Scilly on the 27th, just days ahead of the World Pilot Gig Championships (May Bank Holiday Weekend).

The Marco Polo is a fully stabilised and air conditioned classic ocean liner, extensively re-built in 1993 for the discerning premium cruise market. She can accommodate up to 820 guests and has eight passenger decks, serviced by three main lobbies and four lifts.  She also boasts two main restaurants, five principal lounge areas, a library, card room, internet café, gallery, wellness centre, outdoor pool, three whirlpools, and a traditional walk around promenade.   For more on Marco Polo cruises to the Isles of Scilly, see www.cruiseandmaritime.com

Cruising to the Isles of Scilly  — Escape.  Wander.  Daydream.  Explore.

This year, the Isles of Scilly will welcome more than 37 cruise ships from around the World.  Cruising offers a wonderful opportunity to arrive at, and experience the Islands, in a magical way.  Once you’ve experienced a taste of the sub-tropical climate, explored the white sandy beaches, and explored some of our many gardens, cafes, local galleries, or heritage sites, you will want to come back for a longer stay.  Many cruise ship passengers do just that!

The unique Isles of Scilly, Britain’s only island archipelago, just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, are a haven for those dreaming of open spaces, relaxation and tranquility.

With over 100 islands, there’s so much to explore. How about a sailing trip to visit seals or puffins or a picnic on a uninhabited island? For the more adventurous, there are many challenging dive sites around Scilly such as the HMS Association, a 300 year old ship wreck near the famous Bishop Rock Lighthouse, Britain’s tallest. For all who visit, the Islands offer a real escape, with many quiet coastal paths, nature reserves and coves to enjoy.

There are 5 inhabited Islands:  St Mary’s the largest and the hub of activity, Bryher, St Agnes, St Martin’s and Tresco. There are more detailed descriptions on each under “The Islands” tab above.

Due to the mild climate, a result of the Gulf Stream that passes close by, colourful displays of exotic plants and flowers abound; their scents accompanying the visitor on many a coastal walk. Indeed, numerous rare species found nowhere else in Britain, thrive here as a result.

So special are the islands, historically and environmentally, that the whole area is a protected Marine Park, a Heritage Coast and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Preserved, so that it can be enjoyed by islanders and visitors alike for many generations to come.

So, breathe in that air and enjoy your visit!

For more on the Isles of Scilly, see www.simplyscilly.co.uk

Tips for a Great Cruise Holiday

1. Planning your cruise:  plan as early ahead of time as you can; select your cruise by destination first, then time of year; find a cruise line that suits your needs and wants.

2. Don’t forget to pack some cruising essentials:  a basic first aid kit; bottled water; chewing gum; travel-size alarm clock; mini stereo; electrical extension lead/power strip/surge protector (it’s always good to ensure that you can use all your devices, especially as the advent of mobile phones, MP3 players, and laptops came after many ships were originally built), and fabric softener sheets (place between your clothes and in your shoes to help them stay fresh).

3. Explore with a European cruise option.  European cruises are a good holiday option for first-timers and for those who have been to Europe before.   They are ideal for those who want to see the history, art, and natural beauty of Europe without having to drive, change trains and train stations, or engage in extensive planning.

4. Take advantage of this efficient way to ‘Taste’ a destination. Europe is relatively compact and you can see many cities and sites easily. Most cruise ships sail at night and arrive in the next port of call early in the morning, giving you a full day to sightsee.   You will also then get planned excursions to see the local sites which you can book onboard, and often passengers can also alight and explore on their own.  European cruising is also very convenient.  You only have to unpack once and knowing different languages is not as important when you are cruising.

5. Take care of the Cruise staff and they will take care of you.   The cabin steward and other staff can really contribute to making the most of your cruise, and given the length of time of your cruise, they will have a daily impact on your comforts, planning, and special arrangements you may request.

6.  Research your cabin carefully.  There is a great deal of diversity among cruise ship cabins, so be sure to study the layout and architecture of the ship’s deck plans before selecting your cabin.   Ask your travel agent for advice and research online for others who have sailed the ship. Think about what is important to you and consider benefits of upgrading for additional cost.  If your holiday is limited, you might want to spend a bit more for a better cabin.

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