ABOVE: MAGELLAN | BELOW: MARCO POLO
As the British cruise market continues to expand, more and more people are enjoying the privilege of being able to embark their cruise from their local port. Recent years have seen new cruise terminals appear in Hull and London, whilst more and more ships are operating out of ports in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This has certainly made cruising a more accessible form of holiday and opened up opportunities to visit the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, and the British Isles from your doorstep. Western regions within the UK, however, have missed out on such opportunities, but this is set to change in 2017.
In 2017, Cruise & Maritime Voyages will operate a total of four itineraries out of Cardiff and Newport, which will open up the world of cruising to Welsh holidaymakers. The 800-passenger Marco Polo will operate two itineraries out of Cardiff, whilst the newest addition to the fleet, the 1,250 passenger Magellan, will offer two sailings out of Newport.
The first of two Marco Polo itineraries will see passengers depart out of Cardiff on a 10-night cruise to the Iberian coast and western Mediterranean. Guests will be able to explore destinations such as Bilbao, Lisbon, and Gibraltar before disembarking in La Coruna. The second itinerary, the Summertime Gardens & River Seine Experience, will enable passengers to visit St Mary’s, Rouen and Antwerp over the course of six nights.
Magellan will offer first-time cruisers the opportunity to embark on a taster itinerary, with a two-night mini cruise to Dublin, which includes a stop in Liverpool. Alternatively, travellers seeking some of Europe’s most impressive natural beauty will be able to marvel over the magnificence of the Norwegian fjords.
In an interview for Wales Online, the managing director of Cruises from South Wales, Miles Morgan, said: "We have campaigned for a long time for local cruise departures for holidaymakers in South Wales and this news is excellent. The port in Bristol was getting regular cruises and with so many of those bookings coming from South Wales it made sense to have some more local to us here in Wales."
As well as providing holidaymakers with a new option in 2017, this news will also be a welcome boost for Welsh tourism and for the local economies of Cardiff and Newport. If these itineraries prove popular, there is a good chance that even more cruising opportunities out of Wales will be available in 2018.
Our regular updates ensure you are up to date with all the happenings within the world of cruising. As has been proven by this blog post, the industry is continuing to grow and is becoming a viable holiday option for an increasing number of people.
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