Windermere Lake Cruises returns from 2nd December 2020 with seasonal timetable and new Boat Masters
As the November lockdown comes to an end, the company will operate timetabled passenger services throughout the remainder of the autumn, winter and spring, subject to continued compliance with government legislation, on three of the most popular routes on Windermere – some of which will be helmed by six new Boat Masters.
The attraction’s winter fleet, including the brand new ‘MV Swift’, will continue to operate every day, apart from Christmas Day, between Bowness and Ambleside (Red cruise) and the Islands Cruise (Blue cruise). The service between Bowness and Lakeside (Yellow cruise), will also operate, apart from Christmas Day and not on weekdays between January 4 and February 5 2021 inclusive.
The company will also be operating its self-drive motorboats from Bowness beach. As ever, all services will operate subject to weather permitting. Sailings will continue to be operated in a Covid-Secure manner, in accordance with legislation and guidance applicable to public transport, with the requirement to book tickets online prior to travel in order to maintain social distancing.
Windermere Lake Cruises Managing Director, Nigel Wilkinson, says, “We are pleased that we are once again able to operate and our colleagues, many of whom live in the local communities around the lake, are able to return to work. It’s been well documented in recent months that thousands of jobs and businesses across the wider area rely heavily on the support of local residents, particularly during quieter times of the year, so our message really is for our communities to enjoy the winter delights that can be experienced on their doorsteps.
“Throughout 2020 we all learned to explore the local area more thoroughly than we had perhaps done in the past, and it’s now more important than ever to delve even deeper into the county that so many of us call home. Our local residents are just as important to Cumbria’s economy as our visitors from further afield, so we’d love to see them taking short breaks and day-trips right here. By doing this, they will not only be supporting local businesses and directly contributing to the economic recovery but helping to conserve our communities.
“Personally, I’m also excited that our new vessel ‘MV Swift’ will be back out on the water after only a handful of sailings so far this year. It’s a great chance for passengers to be among the first to sail on her and what better time of year to do it? With socially-distanced seating, it’s a wonderful chance to breathe in some fresh, winter air while surrounded by our 21st-century comforts.”
Meanwhile, the attraction’s six new Boat Masters have successfully passed their tests after completing their training this week, after it had to be postponed back in March this year due to the first Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Nigel Wilkinson continues, “The completion of training for our six new boat masters gives us yet another reason to smile this week, as their hard work in achieving the high standards required by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been recognised. It is especially rewarding to see colleagues fulfilling their potential and gaining new skills and qualifications. Even during these most challenging of times we are committed to the future development of our businesses, be that through enhanced maintenance, the construction of new capital assets or investment in people skills. These new positions for our crewmembers and the launch of our seasonal timetable are both welcome
developments and we’re looking forward to ending 2020 on a positive note.”
Jon Oddie, Xavier Staub, Sam Badger, Brain McKechnie and Simon Bond have been confirmed as the attraction’s latest qualified boat masters, along with Emily Armstrong, who becomes Windermere Lake Cruises’ fourth female skipper, joining Cath Wilson, Kirsten Goodyer and Angela-Lee Kennedy.