Luxurious 'mega yacht' to visit Plymouth

Following a warning from the Met Office for strong winds across the South West on Monday evening, the ultra-luxury expedition cruise ship Seabourn Venture makes an unscheduled stop at Fowey on Tuesday, April 16.
Seabourn Venture -Credit:Greg Martin / Cornwall Live

A £172m “mega yacht” is due to anchor in Plymouth Sound tomorrow bringing 300 tourists and more than 100 crew to spend their cash in the city. The stylish Seabourn Venture will visit Britain’s Ocean City for the first time, towards the end of a month-long voyage around the British Isles.

The 170m-long cruise ship is due to anchor in Plymouth Sound at 8am on Thursday, May 9, and will set off for Poole, in Dorset, at 7pm. Seabourn Venture left Greenwich, in London, on April 14, and will arrive back there on May 12 after a 28-day voyage.

Plymouth will be rolling out the red carpet for 300 passengers, mostly Americans, who will arrive by tender at Barbican Landing Stage. They will then either go on planned excursions to South West attractions or be directed to the Barbican, Hoe and waterfront.

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Many of the vessel’s 120 crew are also expected to come ashore, and are likely to visit city centre shops, bars and restaurants. Glen Gardner , Destination Plymouth’s cruise new business development manager, said those disembarking from Seabourn Venture will be met by Plymouth’s award-winning cruise ambassadors and the town crier.

He said: “We aim to give them a warm welcome and a lovely day in Plymouth. Some will go on excursions but the independent passengers will look around the city, provided with maps by our team and given directions to the Barbican, Hoe and waterfront.

“And quite a few of the crew will venture into the city centre to buy everyday things. They like to eat out, drink out and shop after being on the ship for some time, and like to spend money in places like Plymouth.”

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Classed as a “mega yacht”, Seabourn Venture is just two years old, having been built at a shipyard in Trieste, Italy at a cost of 200m euros, which is about £172m. Seabourn Venture can travel at 22 knots, 25mph, and is owned by Carnival Corporation and Plc and operated by Seabourn Cruises.

The ship, which sails under the flag of the Bahamas, has 10 decks, four of which contain a total of 132 cabins. Seabourn Venture arrives in Plymouth from Kinsale, in Ireland, and on its current tour has visited dozens of locations, including Lundy Island, Dublin, the Isle of Man, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh and islands around the coast of Ireland and Scotland.

Mr Gardner said Seabourn Venture will anchor in Sound because Millbay is currently out of bounds due to the start of multi-million pound improvement work. He said: “She is a very nice-looking ship.”

The vessel is one of 14 cruise ships due to call at Plymouth this year. Just last week, the £150m Oceania Sirena stopped in the Sound and three more visits are scheduled for this month.

Silver Dawn is expected on May 15, Exploris One the following day, and Amera on May 31. Mr Gardner said: “The cruise lines are aware we are here and waving the flag for ships to come here.”

Jon Walton, chief executive of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said: “We are delighted to welcome passengers and crew of the Seabourn Venture to Britain's Ocean City. The weather looks to be as bright as the special welcome Plymouth will give this lovely ship.

“Plymouth is really on the up with regard to cruise ship visits and is fast gaining a reputation as the friendliest port ships visit. Again, massive thanks to the members of the Cruise Partnership, especially the welcome ambassadors."