Oban’s busi­ness is cruis­ing at the mo­ment

The Oban Times - - News -

IT’S all hap­pen­ing in Oban Bay these days with our new tran­sit ma­rina and boats and ships of all shapes and sizes com­ing and go­ing, writes Oban am­bas­sador Kay Mac­Don­ald.

One of the great­est plea­sures of my job is see­ing the con­stant ac­tiv­ity in the bay and know­ing that it’s go­ing to trans­fer to the town. Whether it’s pas­sen­gers from the fer­ries, fish­ing boats ty­ing up or cruise ship pas­sen­gers com­ing ashore, it all adds to the buzz.

Dur­ing the past few years I’ve no­ticed that we have more ships drop­ping off and pick­ing up pas­sen­gers in the town, which is great. It shows that we have the trans­port links re­quired and, for many of the pas­sen­gers, it will mean a stay in the town ei­ther be­fore they board for their trip or on their re­turn be­fore they head off home and, hav­ing spo­ken to quite a few, I know that of­ten they ex­tend their hol­i­day with a few days in Oban.

We’re also lucky enough to have smaller com­pa­nies such as the Ma­jes­tic Line and He­bridean Cruises based here. Com­ing and go­ing on a weekly ba­sis, their boats re­ally add char­ac­ter to the bay, as does the beau­ti­ful He­bridean Princess an­other weekly vis­i­tor.

Add in the tall ships con­stantly in and out and you have a pho­tog­ra­pher’s dream.

It’s al­ways a plea­sure to wel­come our cruise ship vis­i­tors, no mat­ter how long they’re here for. I know that is a con­cern for some but a lot of work has been done to try to ac­com­mo­date the lo­cal busi­nesses and the cruise op­er­a­tors for whom ex­cur­sions are a large part of their busi­ness.

One of the fig­ures I have heard is that fewer than 50 per cent of pas­sen­gers chose to go on the ex­cur­sions, with a few choos­ing to re­main on the ship and the ma­jor­ity com­ing ashore to ex­plore.

I should also men­tion that the ex­cur­sions are usu­ally for a half- day and re­main within our area, go­ing to Kil­martin, In­ver­aray and Glen­coe be­fore then re­turn­ing for the rest of the day in Oban.

I know my hope al­ways is that they will fall in love with our wee town and the wel­come they’ve re­ceived from ev­ery­one and want to re­turn for a longer stay to get to know us bet­ter.

And if the re­sponse I’ve had from the pas­sen­gers is any­thing to go by, I’d say it’s not far off the mark.

As for the pic­ture, I know a few of you spot­ted last week’s photo and a fair few didn’t. It was ac­tu­ally the build­ing be­side Web­ster of Oban Pho­to­graphic Cen­tre which I think used to be Pearl In­sur­ance. Good luck with this week’s photo – I think it’s a doozy!

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