Harbour liner berth cost rises by £100m. in a year

ESTIMATES of the cost of building a cruise liner berth in St Peter Port Harbour have risen by more than £100m. in just a year.

The Guernsey harbours master plan indicates the proposed cruise ship berth. Public Services said the development would cost around £183m.
The Guernsey harbours master plan indicates the proposed cruise ship berth. Public Services said the development would cost around £183m.

ESTIMATES of the cost of building a cruise liner berth in St Peter Port Harbour have risen by more than £100m. in just a year.

But Public Services justified the increase by saying that the original figure did not include any engineering assessment of the construction costs or design work.

In its recent ports master plan the department said a new cruise ship berth would cost around £183m.

However, in a 2011 States report it indicated the bill would be between £25m. and £80m.

That also suggested the economic contribution from visiting cruise ships could rise from the current level of £1.3m. to up to £6m. a year.

Comments for: "Harbour liner berth cost rises by £100m. in a year"


Pays for itself in 30 years.

At a time when we have no money and trying to cut costs.

Sorry but am I missing something here?


This is insanity!

Just look at the numbers, £183m to build. It's quick to say like that, maybe we should write it like this for more impact. £183,000,000.00

“Could” generate £6m a year in revenues....it won't so let's pretend it stays the same. "Economic contribution" is a vague way of expressing it anyway. So is this £1.3m profit for the harbour? £1.3m turnover for the harbour, OR is the £1.3m as I suspect from the wording £1.3m currently spent in our economy from cruise ship passengers a year?

If it's the first option then assuming no other costs, staff, bills, or maintenance (although no maintenance I could believe...........) then it will take over 140 years to pay for itself – in other words it never could, would be condemned as in need of replacement well before then. If the figures are actually turnover or money spent in the wider economy then it would take hundreds or thousands of years to see a return.

Once again I can only conclude that the people that have bought this laughable scheme to the table are idiots.

What makes me really angry though is that even if this gets thrown out, then just getting this far and bringing the report to the states has already cost us millions. The harbour master is on record comparing the wider scheme to Genesis in the bible! Where do we get these power hungry lunatics from?

When are our elected representatives going to start reining in those they are supposed to be in control of? No more consultants and their fat fees for schemes we don't want!


Which part of Genesis was he comparing it to - the Tower of Babel?!

Spending £183m on a cruise ship berth sounds about as sensible as building a tower tall enough to reach heaven.


Don't panic...... it's not going to happen! Hurrah!


Although I'd like to agree with you Rosie, I wouldn't trust the States we are lumbered with now to throw this joke out.

As I said above, even if they do see sense and junk this, then it's cost us money anyway AND lined someone else's pocket in the process.



Really.... it is NOT going to happen! We can all relax on this one. And I speak as one who was really worried when the idea was first mentioned and I wrote loads of posts against it when the story first appeared in the Press. The numbers simply do not add up in any shape or form... thank goodness.

And it's not as if we are going to lose all the potential revenue from cruise ships anyway. They will still come and anchor in the Little Russel and ferry their passengers ashore as they already do.

Unfortunately there were people who felt the idea had to be explored in case there was any economic value in it, but it has been proven to be way too expensive.

There are plenty of other things to worry about so don't waste any energy on this one. Go make yourself a cup of tea and relax. ;-)


Mrs P

Before you start calling everyone idiots (oh, too late!), you might want to read the story in the paper. It says they are not proposing to do this. In fact it (PSD) says the high cost cannot be justified, and there are other things which are higher priority.

Oh, and it also says that the figures are just an estimate because they haven't spent lots of money getting costings done when it doesn't seem to stack up.

So you might want to just check some basic facts before you start calling everyone idiots and power hungry lunatics. It's just common courtesy.

Island Wide voting


Aaaah now I get it.It's the age old trick of including some fanciful out of this world cost-wise project so that they can later demonstrate how sensible they are to reject it in order to gain credence for their less costly follies

Not idiots after all


Read my response to Rosie.

Just getting this far will have already cost us a fortune.

Andy, which bits of the half a billion pound harbour scheme would you say are worth the money?


What half billion scheme? I suspect what they have done is look at everything - from very urgent to not vital to 'will never happen' - and given some idea of cost to these. If you add all these up, which I suspect is what you are doing, and it comes to half a billion, then it's not the same as them saying they should spend half a billion. That's your invention, probably because you like being angry with the States. You read things the way you want to read them, because soemhow it reinfroces your pre-conceived views.

I don't have a view on which bits they should do. I am not an expert. However I do think that before prnouncing other people/humans to be idiots and power hungry lunatics, we all have a duty to engage our brain first and perhaps go as far as to check our facts.

To back it up with "well they may something different, but what they mean is what I am saying" is frankly ludicrous.


Ooooops Andy, pardon me and my questioning mind!

No more criticising our masters, I'll leave everything to your experts from now on. (They'll be the ones bankrupting Guernsey by the way)

By the way read your Press today? £1.5 Billion in capital projects to find, this from the island running at a loss year on year. Get an expert accountant to tell me how that works will you?


The so called harbour 'Master Plan' is based on a report that contains no serious presentation of alternatives, no real cost/benefit analysis, and no technical assessment of suggested projects.

To describe the report as a 'Master Plan' is wishful thinking. Yet it is the politest description that can be bestowed.

It is unthinkable that anyone should imagine basing decisions about an important feature and vital piece of Guernsey infrastructure on a work that apparently devoted more attention to the quality of its photos of the port than to the quality of its technical and economic assumptions.

Hopefully someone, somewhere, will start asking serious questions and demanding credible answers?


Highly paid civil servants calculators not responding.Foreward planning.What would it cost to berth the Queen Mary 2 off St Martins Point?


At an economic contribution of £6M a year (this sounds very optimistic) it would take over 30 years to pay back (assuming the costs do not rise further). If the economic contribution forecasts are too optimistic (forecasts invariably are!) then it might take 60 or 90 years to pay back.

This does not look like a sound economic investment!!!


Who in their right mind actually thinks this is even a remotely good idea? £183m for a vanity project which we just cannot afford and do not need.

If PS has staff with enough free time to be working on projects like this, then i think its time to swing the axe.


I support this idea and think it will bring much needed tourism into the Island, however a quick scan of the worlds large cruse ships shows that the top 19 currently in service are too long for the proposed berths, and that most cruise ship beams are 36-48m. Ships being built at the moment have dimensions in excess of these even!

So already the proposed berths are too small and not fit for purpose. If we are going to attract tourists here we need to do it properly.

Davey West

My parents take a cruise each year. They particularly like the food choice the entertainment and the ( normally ) excellent service.

It would be so very interesting to find out how cruise ship patrons, come ashore and " could " spend £6 million a year.

Is this some one's idea of a joke ?

My parents rarely fly theses days but if they did the suitcase allowance is so frugal and expensive this puts would be shoppers off. The may take sightseeing coach trip and by some refreshments, obviously not in the big spend league.

If the Guernsey States pass this ridiculous idea then Guernsey has joined the Jersey mad hatters tea party.




If they want to spend 183m spend it on health not a Cruise Ship berth waste of money

a voter

Is the Castle Breakwater going to be extended as well to provide shelter for cargo or passenger vessels to turn during South Easterly strong to gale force winds?

I go to watch ships daily at St Peter Port and have seen some of our present ships struggle to maneuver when docking in many differing wind strengths and directions.

A week ago the Commodore Goodwill could not enter the pier heads due to North Westerly 40 knot gusts and left for Portsmouth without docking.

Not long after it`s return to service the Huelin Dispatch was blown into scaffolding at Number 5 berth. Luckily nobody was hurt.

These are just two incidents with comparatively small vessels during the last six months, if the Castle breakwater is not redeveloped at the same time then how are much larger vessels going to cope? It`s funny that Joe Public doesn't get to hear about such incidents isn`t it?

I don`t know who the people responsible for this report have consulted with to come up with such a plan but It`s time to squash this before our stupid politicians get to read it properly(if they ever do read things of this scale properly) and waste OVER £200,000,000 (which the cost will be before it starts) of MONEY WE DON`T HAVE.



What will Guernsey do once the tax avoidance industry disappears ? This would bring in huge amounts of revenue from the tourist industry Guernsey should not have all its eggs in the one basket .....get the tax avoidance industry to pay for it because once they have gone all Guernsey will be left with is a load of empty over priced office blocks that no one wants ....

guern abroad

... and a massive dept if projects like this get past the outline plan, even then it will have cost just to draw on the paper.


The cruise ships only go to Guernsey so that the passengers can use their new binoculars to watch limpets and worms and such gorging themselves on the delicious sewage in Belle Greve bay. They don't need a pier for that. eh? Better to spend that money on building houses on Delancey park and Beau Sejour.

a voter


years ago I suggested than when office blocks were built the States should have made it part of the conditions that provision should be made that each block could easily be converted into accommodation blocks and The States given first refusal if the company had to sell up and move out. Plumbing and wiring could be built into the initial construction and easily be commissioned on handover.

Should the Finance Industry collapse then these blocks could be converted into flats and Guernsey`s housing problem could solved practically overnight.


When you look at the amenities available in St Helier : Multiplex cinema, water splash, pizza hut, TGI Fridays, day trips to France, indoor shopping mall, more large chains, fish market, indoor market, hospital, museums, Elizabeth Castel, indoor bus station, theatre, undercover parking etc. Compare this to St. Peter Port and you will see that the pull factors for town are somewhat less for tourists as well as locals. Tourists will need things to do for a start. As said earlier cruise ships are getting larger in ten years there might not be many that could use these new berths. If Guernsey wants to do something it should create hundreds of additional parking spaces at north beach. Where has all the new offices been built full of employees needing parking? It would be good for people to be able to come into town and park just before 9 to start work at 9. Instead you have to leave for work before 8 and maybe park at Castle Cornet and walk across town. By 9:50 all spaces in north beach are taken including short term.


What a strange post - do you think that cruise passengers are enthralled by the prospect of most of those "amenities" that you listed, half of which are not fit to be classed as such?


Phil strange post...

That is why Jersey has a tourist industry and we don't. How many island tours have you seen in Guernsey. We don't have any attractions except the ones by the States. List the amenities in St.Peter Port that would attract the tourists a few shops and places to eat no market. That's why they don't spend any money..

If you took the time to read their plan its based around paid parking where is the most demand for it North Beach I'm afraid.

davey West

Jersey has a tourist industry ? where on earth did you get that idea ? With the relentless conversion into flats and houses of hotels and guesthouses plus the closing of the Jersey authorities care little for this industry, the first love is finance. Furthermore they have just allocated another £4 million to promote the banks who are sitting on their own billions.

Judging by the number of tourists disembarking the Condor ferries into Guernsey ( no GST ) before going on to Jersey mostly empty, I suggest you retract that statement as plain wrong



Davey West

Obviously you don't go to Jersey very often. I have studied this at degree level you don't know what you are talking about. Jersey has two boats a day from France you see school parties of 40 plus children disembarking from the boat, it is full twice a day in the summer. Why would Condor do two boats a day to France from Jersey obviously because more people use it. If you go to the Market you hear French being spoken quite often. The finance industry is different to the tourist industry. Why would Jersey spending a few million on adverts on tv for tourism? Guernsey doesn't do it because of the return.

In total 1.1m passengers arrived in Jersey by sea and air in 2011.

People arriving by sea were the majority with ferry travel up 4% while the number of people flying rose by just over 2%.

People flying from Liverpool to Jersey rose by 27% to 36,000 passengers in 2011.

Routes between Jersey and London remain the most popular with nearly 300,000 passengers flying from Gatwick.


Dave, Can you tell us what this degree subject was?

guern abroad

When you put it like that why not use that time to catch the bus.

I am not a supporter of more parking to encourage more easy car use.


The problem is Guernsey doesn't have the bus service of a city of 300,000 people. Some routes have four buses a day if they went every 20 minutes but that is not economic. Not many people would finish work and sit in a bus shelter for a least an hour and wait 40 minutes to get home if they had a car.

Island Wide Voting

"the economic contribution from visiting cruise ships could rise from the current level of £1.3m. to up to £6m. a year."

That little sentence has puzzled me somewhat

Does 'economic contribution' mean a 6M actual tax take or does it mean those passengers who will bother to come ashore will spend 6M on goods and services during their few hours on the island?

If the answer is they will SPEND 6M ashore I would guess that after all legal business tax deductions are taken into account the actual tax take will probably be somewhere nearer 10% of that 6M ... 600K per year

Perhaps this is one for Ed's brain to work out but I make it that at that rate it will take 305 years to recoup the 183M initial cost of this cruise liner berth



Everyone, calm down for heaven's sake.

Read the report in the paper and you'll see they are not proposing doing this. The idea has been mooted, so they've looked at it. And the numbers are big, so no-one is suggestign it's a sensible idea.

Strewth, if they hadn't looked at it people would be on this forum saying what a great idea it should be and why didn't anyone think of it. One way or another, you'd be moaning.



The fact that this report was actually put together at all demonstrates a complete and utter lack of understanding of Guernsey's current (and future) financial situation. Its a complete waste of time and resources to put a report of this kind together knowing damn well that the finances (a) don't exist and (b) are flawed.

It's the third example this week of a States department getting it so wrong.



Knowing full well the finances don't exist and are flawed? And how would they know that without some investigation?

Ask you, the all-knowing font of wisdom on all things - including the economics of cruise liners and harbours.

Just because an answer makes something appear stupid, it doesn't make asking the question stupid.



Everybody (and in particular states departments) is fully aware of our current economic situation which is that we are stone cold broke and that there simply isn't the money available now or for the forseeable future to even consider these kind of projects.

What is the point of putting so much work into an idea that you know from the outset you can't afford?


I think it would of been pretty obvious from the start that it would be too expensive. So why waste civil servants' time and tax payers' money drawing up plans and costing it out, when its not even something that we need?!

What really gets me as that our civil service are even looking at ideas like this right now. A complete waste of their time and our money and just goes to show the FTP means nothing to these people.

I am extremely angry that even a penny of our money has been spent on this joke.


Makes you wonder if civil servants are just given these projects to keep them busy Matt. we have far too many so it's quite likely.



This is called work experience.

Surplus to requirement staff are given the chance to inprove their mobility between departments rather then being made redundant.



I suspect you get extremely angry very easily. And often.


Well Robert, clearly you know me very well. Being able to judge a person's character by a couple of posts on a forum is certainly a special skill.

Maybe you should try coming up with a valid reply to my post instead of judgment on my personality.


S.O.G..... clowns


And by the way this plan was drawn up in Public Services free time at no cost to the taxpayer.



When you say 'free time' do you mean time that they had spare in their working day or did they give up their weekends and evenings?

Either way it was time well and truly wasted.

Island Wide Voting

Methinks islander should have added a smiley face at the end of his p-taking post :)



Are you sure? Very little gets done by civil servants to my knowledge for free.

If this is the case, then that time should have been spent looking at the FTP.

vic ramble

Get the money spent....we need this as a matter of high priority

Charlie G

Like it or not,loath the idea as much as you want,and scream all your protests out to the skies above,but one day(maybe not in our life time),the harbour extension and the filling in of Belle Greve Bay will happen,out of SHEER NEED.Anyone noticed the chaos now down at St peter port harbour areas when ferries and freight vessels are moored up? (and the crazy traffic jams along the sea front?) well i have,and i collect and deliver freight at the harbour,its called LACK OF SPACE,and can sometimes be dangerous.The slightest "wiff" of an idea recently to cut down on north beach parking,brought out loads of protests,fine, but don't just protest come out with positive solutions to a problem which is gauranteed to get worse, and if our island continues to grow in the way it is,then we are going to need more and more space,for all different requirements,and stop buring our heads in the sand about it.Just look at the choatic embarrassing scenes with the massive Cruise liners last year with visitors trailing all along the sea front,like it or not Cruise liners are here(and we should be proud of it) and for those of you who think they are a waste of time,have the guts to stand on the sea wall with a banner reading,"go away cruise liners",and like this or not,compared with Jersey,our island has allways "played" at tourism in an amateurish way.

Yes,it's going to cost an absolute fortune to develope st.Peter Port harbour,so we better start saving now,and with proper carefull thinking(which our autorities have a terrible past record),then the project can be something to be proud of,as is not the case with the disgusting north beach parking area.Like wise when the descision finaly goes ahead in the years to come to develope Belle Greve(and it will),there will be a golden opportunity to create the most fantastic enviromently friendly outlook,without spoiling the views towards the east,and with minimum threat to sea life,both Belgrave and the harbour extension just need the right people and planning (with a public exibition of the developements) to get these two projects developed correctly.Wish i will be alive to see it happen!


Hi Charlie G darhling! Your post makes me feel at home, my little neice loves capital letters and NO PUNCTUATION too!

You've missed the point here though its called LACK OF S̶P̶A̶C̶E̶ MONEY!

I like the cruise liners, I like it that they bring in a small amount of money to our broken economy but this scheme cannot even begin to pay for itself. Plus one small law change to the VAT scam they exploit by cruising 'outside' of the EU when they visit here and no more cruise ships anyway.

Island Wide Voting


"one small law change to the VAT scam they exploit by cruising ‘outside’ of the EU when they visit here and no more cruise ships anyway."



IWV & mrsp. Exactly. It is not a trade that we can bank on continuing for long enough to pay back any major investment particularly when you consider that the added value would only be the difference between what we already make from the cruise liners, and the increase in spend from being able to come along side, which would be minuscule.

I would not be against a modest spend on up-grading the harbour facilities so that the visitors had somewhere to arrive and wait reboarding.

This is not a story worth worrying about because it ain't going to happen.


charlie, don't worry about being patronised by people who may be able to spell and punctuate but have difficulty discerning their funny bone from their coccyx. Having even am iota of knowledge of the subject is bound to get you shot down in these parts.


I love cruising and have been lucky enough to go on many, but over the years the ships are offering more onboard facilities, more restaurants, more goods on sale and other than charging berthing fees I cannot see that the island benefits a great deal.

Even after talking to shop owners very little business is achieved from cruise passengers. It would be a very expensive undertaking to build and then say we MAY encourage more ships. A lot of the ships only come here to clear customs, and who knows if that stopped happening we would be in big trouble. Ane expensive folly in my books, but I would love to see them come here, there is nothing more exciting at Southampton docks on departures days,the whole place is heaving.


It seems one of those ideas to hide another, perhaps the real plan is to develop Havelet!

theres no worry that they will go to Jersey, they cant get Condor in unless the tide is right!


The only way we'll ever make any money out of passing ships is to do it old school and rob them like we used to.

Island Wide Voting


That's just another way of repeating pb's mantra of 'bring back the old days' :)


I prefer to see it as a job creation scheme for redundant finance workers Ray, besides I think they are well qualified ;)

pb falla


If you are going to use my material plese get it right

"Bring Back The Good Old Days"

charlie G

mrspinthepantry...i am flattered,but not sure if "darling" should contain an "h".

I totaly agree with your point,of lack of money,but, had successive states governing bodies looked a little harder, into their "crystal balls",and stopped burying their heads in the sand... they would of seen the obvious,and planned ahead for our Islands future requirements.The total lack of positive professional leadership, by the these successive States bodies:is precisely why our Island is in the mess it's in now.The St Peter Port harbour extension, WILL be needed; sooner or later,not just for cruise liners,but very importantly, for the ever growing freight imports...and the safety of all that use the harbour.The Cruise industry, does not bring a mass fortune to our Island,but we still need to give a good "first impression counts"attitude,to everyone who visits our shores,whether it be by boat or plane.Some of my freight driving is also done in Europe,going as far south as Gibraltar,and for a tiny "British" rock,they certainly pull out all the stops,(no head in the sand attitude there), to encourage all the tourism possible,and that includes much needed harbour extensions,for freight and Cruise liners.Like i said in my previous letter,we better start saving now !

Yvonne Burford

The previous Commerce and Employment did a report in which they attempted to assess the value of a cruise liner berth. If you read the report, you will see that most of it focused on calculations of what economic value (not the same as spend) cruise ship passengers could bring to Guernsey.

In my view it was a hugely over optimistic report, taking at most stages the upper estimate of possible increases in number of visits, passengers, spend, etc, to arrive at an economic value figure. It then looked at three scenarios of estimated capital cost of £25m, £40m and £80m. A bit of basic maths (not included in the report) showed that only the £25m figure was anywhere near viable. Even accepting their optimistic income figures, it would have taken over 60 years to pay back £40m and the £80m option would never have been paid back The report also failed to factor in any maintenance or allow for the fact that some ships might still choose to anchor rather than pay the £20k alongside fee.

The previous PSD had started the Ports Master Plan process and a majority of the current Board were happy for the consultants to consider the berth in its final presentation as it involved little extra work and as it had figured quite highly in the public consultations and as at that point the likely cost was still unknown.

Personally I think the whole idea was completely barking from the outset and I am surprised the original C&E report did not come in for a more serious critique at the time. One excuse offered in that ireport was that if it was unaffordable to the States then the private sector might join in. As if that somehow suddenly makes it financially viable. Madness.

Island Wide Voting


Was the previous C & E report put together by imported consultants? .. in which case it appears to be in part at least the usual waste of money

Or,possibly worse,was it put together by C & E's own in house staff? Staff who are no doubt still in situ ( or promoted to another department)and therefore in a position to wreak further havoc due to there apparant lack of basic maths


Many ports around the world are in the situation like us whereby liners cannot berth alongside the quay.

With the amount of liners visiting Guernsey would it not be wise for the States of Guernsey Harbour Authority to purchase a purpose built small passenger ferry for ferrying passengers from ship to shore?

With a purpose built rig outside St Sampsons Harbour for pumping fuel ashore being the option for health and safety of the northern end of the island.

Building a deep water berth will only hinder the beautiful views of our surrounding smaller islands.


One point to bear in mind is that in the last few years a high percentage of the ships called in on a Sunday.

You only have to read the comment from Carnival UK to see this is a pie in the sky idea.