This year has not been easy for us, both from a business perspective and for our family.
Like everyone, we have been confronted with challenges beyond our control or what we could have ever imagined. I would be lying if I said that it has been all plane sailing.
We have been running at around 1/3 of our usual capacity since 4th July, with all of the same overheads as usual – in fact, we have needed extra staff in order to ensure that all of our stringent COVID_19 Safety Measures have been implemented and adhered to. We lost virtually all of our private charter bookings for weddings and parties and so on and the recent introduction of the ‘Rule of Six’ has placed further restraints on what we are able to do. And of course on top of this, the summer season has been dramatically shortened due to the late start.
However, we pride ourselves on always looking on the bright side, never feeling sorry for ourselves and consistent unrelenting efforts to make the best of things. This is not something which is about to change.
Our team have been truly awesome, adapting overnight and really just getting on with it; feedback from passengers has been incredibly positive, with glowing reviews of our exceptional customer service and we feel tremendously proud of this. It has not been easy for our Crew or shore-based staff, with so many additional aspects to their roles. Our Crew have been allocating seating positions during boarding, operating a waiter/waitress-only service during cruises and have been wearing face masks throughout – not to mention the enhanced cleaning protocols which we have in place. Our shore-based staff have been busy updating our website and ensuring that everyone has been aware of exactly what to expect and the volume of enquiries has been understandably high. The measures we have in place have swiftly become the ‘norm’ and are generally perceived by the public to be expected when visiting an attraction but we are not afraid to admit the additional strain this has placed on our staff and our gratitude to them is immense.
The above photos are a symbol of what we have been faced with during this challenging time; they represent resilience, innovation, determination and forward-thinking. We have successfully adapted the way we run our business and have readily embraced new opportunities. We lost most of our private charter bookings as well as many of our special events such as regattas and air shows but in their place, we have introduced our highly anticipated Cruise Ship Sightseeing Tours. This has been our silver lining.
Jake is now at the helm of our family-run business and he could not be doing a better job. He is the calm, resilient, innovative, determined and forward-thinking driving force at every hurdle and his unwavering positivity is something to be admired. It is my privilege to do all of this by his side.