Hundreds of people will have the unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes on Scillonian III next week to mark Maritime UK Week.

Local school children, sea cadets and fans of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s faithful passenger ship have been invited on board for the special, one-off event.

It will give them a rare chance to go on board Scillonian III while the vessel is in dock in Penzance on a non-sailing day.

Visitors will be able to meet the captain and crew, tour the ship’s bridge and look around the engine room.

Maritime UK Week (October 10-16) aims to shine a spotlight on the latest developments in the maritime sector and engage people across the UK with the maritime world.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group’s marine superintendent Tom Weise said: “Maritime UK week is an important part of the maritime calendar; it is important that Cornwall and Isles of Scilly are represented as part of this, and this open day puts them on the map.

“As part of the open day, we have invited local secondary schools to attend. This allows us to showcase careers within the maritime sector which currently supports over a million UK jobs and adds £46.1 billion to the UK’s economy.

“The maritime sector is responsible for facilitating 95% of UK global trade, worth over £500 billion per year. The sector is expected to double in size by 2030.”