Cruise Wales expects a rise in visitors for the 2022 season
Boasting thousands of miles of picturesque coastline, beautiful beaches, three national parks, more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world and various other tourist attractions, Wales is a popular destination for cruise guests. Now that the ports of Cardiff, Fishguard, Holyhead, Milford Haven and Pembroke Port, and Swansea have opened to international cruise traffic, Cruise Wales expects a rise in visitors for the 2022 season and has created new excursions to ensure they are entertained while onshore.
One new highlight is the ‘Coin, Coal & Cheers’ experience, which enables guests to take a behind-the-scenes trip to the Royal Mint, a tour of a former mine and colliery in Rhondda Heritage Park led by ex-miners, and a guided excursion and gin-tasting session at Hensol Castle’s new gin distillery. Passengers can choose the gold package to benefit from added perks, such as a performance by a Welsh male choir at the mine and a gin-making masterclass at the castle.
Another new highlight for 2022 is an excursion that enables guests to spend a night stargazing and learning photography with experts in the Cambrian Mountains, which boast nine Dark Sky Discovery Sites and an International Dark-Sky Association park. Guests then dine together at a local pub.
Meanwhile in Anglesey, eco-conscious cruise tourists can participate in beach clean-ups organised by Anglesey Sea Zoo, and in Pembrokeshire, history afficionados can explore Milford Haven Museum and Pembroke Dock Heritage centre, or take guided tours of Manorbier Castle, Picton Castle or Carew Castle. Visitors looking for active experiences in Pembrokeshire can go alpaca trekking, coasteering, foraging for wild food, attend a glass-blowing class, or join a tour and ale-tasting session at HARBWR Craft Brewery and Taproom. Alternatively, they can take a guided walking tour around Tenby with an official Wales Tourist Guide, or head to Tenby Golf Club. In addition, they can embark on a boat tour circumnavigating the islands of Ramsey, Skomer and Grassholm to see wildlife including Atlantic Grey Seals, Harbour Porpoise, puffins, Manx shearwater, gannets, dolphins and more.
Bespoke excursions created by VIP Wales can be arranged in Pembrokeshire too. They include a vineyard tour and wine-tasting session at Velfrey Vineyard, a combined visit to St David’s Cathedral and a dining experience at Twr Y Felin hotel, and a chance to explore Upton Castle’s gardens and chapel with the owner.
“After months of restrictions, people are keen to explore and try new experiences, so we’ve developed exciting offerings that showcase the best of Wales,” says Suzanne Thomas, head of Cruise Wales. “We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to our shores.”
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
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