Enjoy Your Holyhead Cruise Experience, Cruising UK Waters

by David Phillips

Cruise lines which offer cruising vacations around the UK and Ireland are now including a Holyhead cruise as part of their packages. As a major British passenger ferry port on the west coast, Holyhead, Anglesey offers high standard facilities for large cruise liners who aim to provide their passengers with a rich and diverse itinerary.

As the longest sea wall in Britain, Holyhead Breakwater offers cruise ships great shelter from the open sea. Cruise liners anchor in a sheltered spot with plenty of draught just behind the breakwater and Anglesey Aluminium jetty in the outer harbour. Meanwhile, if required the local boatyard can provide tug cover for the cruise liner.

With cruise ships over 250 metres in length this sheltered anchorage benefits from the natural protection of the town and coastline which reduce the effect of the prevailing south westerly winds. A facility is available for cruise passengers to land on the east side of the inner harbour near the Fish Dock. From special coaches are on hand to take visitors to the varied island and nearby mainland attractions.

You may have seen some of the breathtaking Cambrian coastal scenery if your cruise ship sailed from Milford Haven or Swansea in South West Wales. And as you approached Anglesey you will have seen the islands sandy beaches sweeping from Llanddwyn in the south, where Demi Moore filmed some Half Light movie shots, to Trearddur Bay in the west. North of here is the iconic South Stack Lighthouse, which you can visit during your stop over at Holyhead.

Ferries sail to Dublin, the Irish capital, and to Dun Laoghaire from Holyhead. In fact the port of Holyhead now welcomes some of the top cruise ships in Northern Europe. Cruise lines such as Holland America, Noble Caledonia, Oceana Cruises and Hapag Lloyd will increase their visits, drawn no doubt by the variety of historical and natural attractions for their passengers. Holyhead has already hosted a cruise ship carrying 750 passengers, the 48,000 tonne Seven Seas Voyager.

Plans are advanced for using the Anglesey Aluminium jetty as a more convenient embarkation facility, which will attract ever larger cruise ships otherwise bound for the larger ports at Dublin and Liverpool. The aim is for Holyhead to accommodate ships of around 85,000 tonnes and so using this pier would be a great plus. It is likely that for an upgrade of Holyhead port facilities an investment of around 7 million is needed, and around 500,000 of this would help upgrade the jetty.

Looking ahead, the extra investment in port infrastructure at Holyhead, especially when as many as 70 cruise liners sail in North European waters, increases the chance of this Holyhead cruise destination becoming a real possibility for many keen cruise passengers. And now Anglesey council is leading the “Celtic Wave” initiative to encourage co-operation between key ports in Wales and Ireland, namely Holyhead, Swansea, Milford Haven, Cork, Waterford and Dublin. The strategy is supported by 1.2 million, aiming to draw bigger cruise ships and visitors to these ports.

You may wish to visit the historic castles of Wales at Beaumaris and Caernarfon, which are designated UN World Heritage sites. Alternatively, you may want to visit the last working mill in Wales at Llynnon, Llanddeusant or walk some of the Anglesey coastal path or visit the National Trust house and gardens at Plas Newydd. Whatever option you choose, you can be sure that more cruise liners will be looking to make the Holyhead cruise destination over the coming years.

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