Luxurious 'mega yacht' to visit the West Country

Ultra-luxury expedition cruise ship Seabourn Venture
Ultra-luxury expedition cruise ship Seabourn Venture -Credit:Greg Martin / Cornwall Live

A £172m "mega yacht" is set to grace the waters of the West Country on Thursday, bringing with it 300 tourists and a crew of over 100. The opulent Seabourn Venture will be making its maiden call to Britain's Ocean City as part of an extensive month-long tour around the British Isles.

The 170m-long luxury vessel is scheduled to drop anchor in Plymouth Sound at 8am on Thursday, May 9, before departing for Poole in Dorset at 7pm. Having set sail from Greenwich in London on April 14, the Seabourn Venture will conclude its 28-day journey upon returning there on May 12.

Plymouth is preparing to extend a warm welcome to the 300 passengers, predominantly Americans, who will be ferried to the Barbican Landing Stage. From there, they can either embark on pre-arranged excursions to various attractions across the South West or explore local sights such as the Barbican, Hoe, and waterfront.

The ship's 120-strong crew are also anticipated to venture ashore, potentially frequenting shops, bars, and eateries within the city centre. Glen Gardner, Destination Plymouth's cruise new business development manager, has confirmed that those disembarking from the Seabourn Venture will be greeted by Plymouth's award-winning cruise ambassadors and the town crier, reports Plymouth Live.

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On the topic of their unique visitors, a spokesperson was quoted saying: "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."

He further revealed that crew members also make a habit of exploring the local area: "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."

Seabourn Venture is categorised as a "mega yacht". The impressively sized vessel was constructed just two years ago in Trieste, Italy, carrying a cost of 200m euros approximately £172m.

Owned by Carnival Corporation and Plc and run by Seabourn Cruises, Seabourn Venture boasts the ability to travel at 22 knots or roughly 25mph.

The Bahamas-registered ship has ten decks, with four accommodating 132 cabins. Currently journeying from Kinsale, Ireland, Seabourn Venture has docked in Plymouth.

During its latest tour, it has made stop-offs at a host of places including Lundy Island, Dublin, the Isle of Man, Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, plus other islands along the Irish and Scottish coastline.

Mr Gardner revealed that luxury expedition ship Seabourn Venture will dock in Sound due to current developments happening at Millbay Dock. He praised the vessel, stating: "She is a very nice-looking ship."

Plymouth will witness an increase in seafaring tourism with 14 cruise liners slated to stop by this year. As recently as last week, the whopping £150m Oceania Sirena ship graced the Sound, and three more stops are lined up for May.

Cruise ships Silver Dawn, Exploris One, and Amera will dock on May 15th, 16th, and 31st respectively. Mr Gardner enthusiastically declared: "The cruise lines are aware we are here and waving the flag for ships to come here."

Furthermore, Jon Walton, Chief Executive of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, expressed his pleasure on welcoming passengers and crew of the Seabourn Venture to Britain's Ocean City. He confidently commented: "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."

Instilling a sense of burgeoning popularity, he added: "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."