Today, Holyhead welcomed one of the largest cruise ships to visit the Port.
The Royal Caribbean’s ‘Brilliance of the Seas’ is a 90,090-ton, 2,112 passenger capacity cruise ship, with passengers mainly from the USA.
Tourism Minister, Lord Elis-Thomas had the opportunity to step on board the ship to meet with the crew and captain and explore how Wales can further increase its share in the lucrative cruise sector.
The cruise ship market has been identified as growth market for Wales. In 2016 the cruise industry was worth an estimated £7 million to the Welsh economy.
There are 103 planned cruise calls across Wales in 2018, a year on year increase of 15%. Holyhead will welcome 53 of these calls - an increase 30% from 2017.
The Welsh Government and Cruise Wales have been working in partnership with Local Authorities and Ports on a marketing programme for Wales as well as improving what we have to offer in Wales for the cruise market.
Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
“Today has been an excellent opportunity to see how a cruise ship such as the Brilliance of the Seas operates and look at the opportunities these cruise calls present for the wider economy of Wales. The growth of the sector is testimony to the collaborative work between public and private sector partners, working closely with the cruise liners to ensure that Wales is developing the right infrastructure and products which will appeal to their customers. I’m sure the passengers will have had an excellent time exploring the variety and quality of what Wales has to offer and we look forward to welcoming more ships to Wales during 2018.”
In order to develop the cruise sector, the Port of Holyhead are developing their infrastructure with a new multi user berth which will allow larger cruise vessels (up to 365m) to berth. This work is being done with advice from the Royal Caribbean on the berth design.
“The economic benefits the cruise industry brings to Anglesey and North Wales are hugely important,” added Anglesey's Major Projects and Economic Development portfolio holder, Councillor Carwyn Jones.
"Anglesey Council is pleased to be leading the North Wales Regional Cruise Project, and support via the Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) has helped us attract many more cruise ship passengers to the region.
“Our annual cruise ship programme is going from strength to strength. We’ll welcome 53 cruise ships to Anglesey this summer, compared to 43 in 2017; bringing around 30,000 visitors and crew to the region. We will continue to market North Wales as a unique destination, build on our success and cement Holyhead’s position as one of the UK’s premier cruise ports.”
The cruise industry is also supported by the Destination Anglesey Partnership, where key private sector representatives collaborate with the public sector to maximise benefits.