Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Sailing in and out

This morning a friend of mine posted on Facebook a photo of a trasatlántico sailing into Vigo. This was 8.30 am. By the time I went out to my yoga class the huge boat was already moored in the harbour. It’s a good job the sun was shining nicely.

Yesterday there were two of
them, taking advantage of the extended mooring area for trasatlánticos. According to the newspaper, el Faro de Vigo, some 6,600 people disembarked yesterday, a record for the number of visitors coming into the city from cruise ships in one day. So the mayor must be quite pleased with the work extending the harbour which has made this possible.

Not all of the passengers stay in Vigo, of course. Some head off for a day out in Santiago de Compostela or take advantage of the services offered by a friend of ours to have a private guided tour of the region. But enough must hang around in Vigo to spend money in shops, bars and restaurants.

The ladies of the painting class were discussing the cost of such cruises last week. Some felt that they did not fancy the idea at all and felt that the cost might be prohibitive. Others though, assured them that there are plenty of special offers. Besides, commented one, if you started paying by instalments plenty of time in advance it was quite feasible, Paying €50 a month, when you finally setoff on your cruise it would feel as though you were going for free. Even in these times of crisis it should be possible, it seems, to offer yourself a treat.

Now one group who don’t seem to be suffering from the crisis must be the un-named bank which has hired the only cruise liner based in Vigo for a few days in May. The boat Grand Voyager should have been setting off from Vigo on May 26th on a cruise with stops at Lisbon, Portimao, Casablanca, Tangiers and Cadiz. However, one of the banks has decided that they would like to have their annual meetings on board the ship as a way of rewarding their best workers and getting some business done at the same time.

As they are planning to have lots of meetings going on they don’t need to schedule tourist stops anywhere and will be out at sea for the whole time. They will, however, make full use of all the facilities on board.

Now, I wonder what level of employee gets to go on the cruise.

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