Orkney: When The Boat Comes In
This year, every cruise line in the world will visit. On its busiest days, the capital of Kirkwall will see its population of 7,000 almost double. As part of BBC One’s Our Lives series, Orkney: When The Boat Comes In captures the stories of Orcadians whose lives are impacted by the onslaught of tourists.
There will be 140 port calls this year, with more than 120,000 passengers. That’s six times Orkney’s entire population. For many, this is something to be celebrated – more people means more money coming in to the islands. It’s estimated that the industry brings in between seven and nine million pounds to the local economy, much needed revenue to help sustain a small and remote population.
For others, it’s a pain. The streets of Kirkwall can sometimes be so busy that it’s hard to make your way through the main street. Many residents steer clear on cruise ship days and some cafes and restaurants complain that they actually lose money, as passengers nurse teas and coffees for hours or head back to the liner for their all-inclusive lunches.
Among the contributors, made by Tern TV, is Jimmy Poke, whose business has been transformed by cruise liners. He and his wife Vega started out with a small taxi firm in Stromness and they now have the contract to run the shuttle buses from the ships into the centre of Kirkwall, along with a fleet of tour coaches.