Exploring Poole harbour
In June, a group of GTO readers enjoyed a great day out in in Dorset, on a Readers’ Event hosted by City Cruises Poole. Sarah Jeffery reports back.
‘The group was welcomed by the City Cruises team including Heather Egerton, Business Development Manager (pictured above right with Sarah) and Jessica Greenham, Sales & Marketing Manager on Poole’s historic quayside. We were then escorted onboard one of City Cruises larger vessels, Solent Scene, for a fabulous scenic circular tour of Europe’s largest natural harbour. We enjoyed fantastic views looking back towards Poole, of the picturesque Brownsea Island, owned by the National Trust and home to the endangered red squirrel, and the Sandbanks Peninsula. Fascinating live commentary from the Captain throughout the tour brought our experience to life. We were also treated to a delicious and traditional fish and chip lunch, which we could eat in the cabin or up on deck.
On returning to harbour, the group then took a gentle 10-minute stroll to the RNLI College.
Here, led by a volunteer tour guide, we were taken on an informative behind the scenes tour of the RNLI College and discovered how RNLI crews and lifeguards are trained. The tour included the Lifeboat Simulator and two of us had a go at taking the helm! It really brought home just how challenging sea rescues can be and the exceptional training that the RNLI crews receive. We also visited the world-class Sea Survival Centre where conditions the lifeguards may experience at sea – from high waves in the dead of night – can be recreated for training purposes. To finish up, we had a great Q&A with some of the RNLI team and then we had free time to explore Poole and its charming quay.
We would like to thank City Cruises Poole and The RNLI College for a fabulous day out and also the Cumberland Hotel (part of the Oceania Group) in Bournemouth and the Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth, who kindly offered special rates for any GTOs who wished to stay the night and explore the area further.’
“I would definitely book a group and although I’ve been to Poole many times I never knew about RNLI. Thanks for the chance to explore new places… it’s nice to see first-hand what you can recommend before you take your group.”
Andrew Belmont, 7up Middlesex
“This comfortable cruise ship enabled us to get a different view of the coastline…We had a very friendly and helpful crew and an excellent commentary from the Captain.”
Anne Bartlett, Tour and Explore with Anne