Scillonian III will boast some new additions when it begins its 2018 season next month.
WiFi will be available on board for the first time and there will be a new coffee shop.
The ship is currently undergoing its annual winter maintenance works and upgrades in Penzance Dry Dock. It will resume sailing on March 19th.
Ship's Purser Marcia Still said: “This will be the first season the ship has been able to provide WiFi to passengers during their crossing, which is fantastic news for people sailing with us, and sure to prove very popular.
“As well as freshening up some of the seating areas, we are also updating the ship’s two cafés and launching a new coffee shop in these spaces - Western Rocks Coffee Co.”
Annual maintenance, carried out every winter, is crucial to ensure that Scillonian remains in tip top condition. All the ship’s systems are tested, surveyed and passed, including onboard fire protection systems and lifesaving equipment, especially life rafts, which are all removed and surveyed before being returned to the ship.
Marcia said: “Every year, we repaint and clean, making repairs as we go. This could be anything from replacing damaged seats to weatherproofing the benches in the outdoor seating areas. Externally, the ship is repainted and maintenance carried out on external equipment, carrying out annual servicing and checks on the ship’s two engines."
Between now and the first sailing of the Scillonian III in March, the vessel will be taken out of Penzance Dry Dock for a series of sea trials.
Relief Master Pete Crawford explained: “The sea trials are a key stage for the crew each year. It’s our chance to see all of the hard work over the winter months finally pay off. Sea trials aren’t complete without swinging the compass - when we account for any deviation affecting the accuracy of the ship’s compass pointing to magnetic north."
The crew and staff aboard Scillonian III, led by Master Dave Redgrave (pictured above with Marcia), also receive training ahead of the new season.
Marcia added: “All crew need to maintain their qualifications year-round, so we make the most of the off-season months by using the time to conduct any necessary training and renew qualifications before the sailing season starts. It’s also the perfect time for any new staff to familiarise themselves with the ship and the existing crew.”
Dave, Marcia, Pete and the crew said they are looking forward to the first sailing of Scillonian III on March 19th and to what the 2018 season will bring. Pete said: “There is nothing nicer than sailing to Scilly on a clear day and seeing a pod of dolphins swimming alongside. That’s a bit special."