The Cruise Wales Planner, Discover Holyhead and Anglesey Secret Attractions

The growing number of people looking to cruise Wales as well as other UK ports could well see Wales emulating top European ports which are destinations for the big leisure cruise market. This is the conclusion of a report by the Welsh Affairs Select Committee of legislators in the House of Commons, the British Parliament. The report points to massive growth in the UK cruise market over the last decade or so, and points to an urgent need to secure a slice of this growth so as to strengthen the economies of Welsh port communities.

If you are an enthusiastic cruise traveller just be aware that before you make early bookings to cruise Wales there is currently some difficulty with offering suitable facilities for berthing at some Welsh ports, where the infrastructure needs to be upgraded to cater for the fast growing fleet of big ships cruising European waters. “Celtic Wave” is a campaign led by Anglesey with a budget of around $2m and covering Irish and Welsh ports, which aims to attract more cruise ship visitors to these ports and their economic hinterlands.

The Welsh Assembly Government in Cardiff has called on the UK government to support extra infrastructure investment to bring these ports, including Holyhead, Anglesey, Milford Haven and Swansea, up to the standards demanded by the cruise liner companies. According to the findings of ther House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee, there is significant potential to boost local port economies and their regional hinterlands by maximising opportunities for people to cruise Wales as part of the UK cruising experience.

Over the longer term the prospects are for Welsh ports to emulate the success enjoyed by Baltic ports where there is an established and popular cruise market. From Holyhead in north west Wales via Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire and Swansea to Newport, Welsh ports can act as engines of economic regeneration when they encourage travellers to cruise Wales. In the summer of 2009 the first cruise ship visited Newport, and nearby is the Celtic Manor where the Ryder Cup will be held in 2010. Cruise passengers from Newport were able to visit the Millennium Centre, Cardiff Castle and other attractions in nearby Cardiff.

Similarly, there are many attractions for cruise visitors when their ship arrives at Holyhead, Anglesey, including World Heritage Castles of Wales at Beaumaris and Caernarfon, South Stack Lighthouse and Llynnon Mill, along with the excellent island coastal path, as well as the Oriel Art Gallery and Seawatch centre at Moelfre.

The Welsh Assembly Government is offering financial support to strengthen the facilities for the expected rise in cruise ship visits to Holyhead, most notably to strengthen the jetty used by Anglesey Aluminium Metals (AAM), which offers an ideal anchorage and a perfect disembarkation berth for cruise ship passengers. When finished this improvement will mean this Holyhead Port outer harbour pier will be strong enough to take huge ships like the Westerdam, a 2,000 passengers carrying, 285 metre liner.

The future looks bright and exciting for visitors to the UK looking to cruise Wales as part of their overall experience, and Holyhead port will be ready to welcome them as they look to explore the many island attractions.

Coming from the beautiful island of Anglesey Wales in the UK, the author, David Phillips, manages an informative website focusing on local news and information. Find out more about organising to cruise Wales here to help make your vacation more pleasurable.