Page last updated at 11:29 GMT, Monday, 13 July 2009 12:29 UK

City welcomes first cruise ship


The American tourists on board did not let a little rain worry them

The south Wales city of Newport has welcomed its first cruise ship, before about 800 passengers headed west to nearby Cardiff for the day.

The cruise ship, ms Prisendam, which is more than 200m (600ft) long, is spending the day docked in Newport.

Operator Associated British Ports said it hoped this would be the first of many cruise liners in Newport.

Passengers will visit the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Castle and Dyffryn Gardens, in Vale of Glamorgan.

The Holland America line cruise ship, which has 428 crew members, will continue her voyage to Falmouth in Cornwall after leaving Newport.

Wales Millennium Centre
Wales Millennium Centre, in Cardiff Bay, which opened in 2004
Cardiff Castle, rebuilt in Victorian times by the Marquess of Bute
Dyffryn Gardens , Vale of Glamorgan gardens set in 70 acres of parkland

The vessel is on a Round Britain cruise, and her previous port of call was Waterford in Ireland.

On completion of its historic docking the Prinsendam's master, Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, will welcome the mayor of Newport, Glyn Jarvis, on board, along with the mayoress and deputy mayor.

ABP is a member of Cruise Wales, a group of port, tourism, and government partners, and works with its partners and regional government to attract cruise calls to the region, welcoming them as a boost to the local economy.

ms Prisendam
The cruise ship is on a Round Britain voyage

Matthew Kennerley, ABP port director, south Wales, said: "While cruise ships are no strangers to some of our other Welsh ports, such as Cardiff and Swansea, we are very pleased that Newport is handling a cruise ship for the first time.

"I hope that all of Prinsendam's passengers enjoy their visit to the region today."

Sally Edwards Hart, who manages tourism development and visitor services for Cardiff council, said: "Cardiff and south Wales have a great deal to offer cruise passengers.

"In partnership with ABP, we have been actively promoting cruise calls to the area for a few years; this has so far resulted in bookings for eight ships.

"We are particularly pleased to welcome the Prinsendam, whose passengers will visit Cardiff Castle, the Wales Millennium Centre and Dyffryn Gardens."

Anyone who wants to get a glimpse of the cruise ship docked at Newport is advised that the best viewing spot is likely to be from the public rights of way around the East Usk lighthouse in the Newport Wetlands Reserve.

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