By Helen Riddell
OVER 170 passengers from the cruise ship MS Hanseatic spent time exploring Bere Island while the ship anchored in the sheltered harbour of Lawrence Cove off the eastern end of the island.
Passengers started arriving onto the island in the ship’s launches from 8am, landing at Lawrence Cove Marina.
Some explored the island by bike, while others enjoyed bus tours which included a visit to the Bere Island Heritage Centre and other points of interests on the island, including a bronze age standing stone, and the remains of the military fortifications from Bere Island’s role as a military base during World War One. Passengers also enjoyed a demonstration on how to make Irish soda bread, and a visit to Desy’s Bar for a traditional music session and to learn the art of ‘pulling the perfect pint’.
John Walsh from Bere Island Projects Group said the island was delighted to be able to host the visit of Hanseatic, and welcome its passengers.
‘It’s great for the island, and we would like to thank all involved in arranging the visit,’ he told The Southern Star.
Jochen Weber, the shore excursion manager on board the MS Hanseatic said: ‘It was a unique and fantastic day on Bere Island, indeed one of our best calls ever with the MS Hanseatic.’ Two further cruise ship visits are planned for Bere Island in 2019. The Bantry Bay area as a whole is also enjoying a busy summer of cruise tourism, with three ships already having visited and a further seven due between now and September.