THE ISLE OF MAN is set to welcome the largest sailing ship in the world ‘Wind Surf’, a Windstar fleet vessel, next year.  The 14,745 tonne, sleek, five-masted yacht, encompassing six decks and accommodating 312 guests, will call on Friday 30th August 2013 as part of a cruise entitled ‘Legendary Links’.   Passengers will visit classic golf locations around the British Isles which includes the renowned Castletown Golf Links.
The Department of Economic Development has been working closely with Isle of Man Golf Tours and other tourism stakeholders to secure the visit of Wind Surf.  Most of the passengers will be American nationals which gives the Isle of Man the opportunity to showcase itself to a very important cruise market.
Windsurf is just one of several vessels now scheduled to visit the Isle of Man during 2013 providing a welcoming boost to the economy.
Geoff Corkish MBE, MHK, Political Member for the Department of Economic Development with responsibility for Tourism said:
‘I have been privileged to welcome many cruise ships on their inaugural visits and I am very pleased to learn that Wind Surf has chosen the Island as one of its ports of call next year.  Golf tourism is becoming increasingly popular and I am confident that our visitors will enjoy testing their skills on the superb high quality Castletown Golf Links course.
‘I hope 2013 cruise passengers will make the most of their time ashore visiting shops, attractions and many more businesses as they did this year.  I’m confident that they will be impressed by all our Island has to offer and I know that during their short stay they will meet great people and most of all they will receive a very warm Manx welcome.’
Angela Byrne, Head of Tourism, said:
‘Tourism continues to play an important role in the visitor economy of the Island and cruise ship visits deliver considerable benefits, providing opportunities for many local companies, including retail and hospitality venues.
‘During 2012 the Department recruited a volunteer team of welcomers and we have had excellent feedback on this initiative from both cruise ship companies and their passengers who have informed us that the welcome they received has contributed greatly to their overall impression of the Island.’