First cruise ship gets ready to sail from Bristol
CRUISE ships will be leaving for destinations around the world from the port at Avonmouth within a matter of weeks.
The 700 passenger cruise ship Discovery will be docking at the port from Thursday, February 28.
It will be the first time a cruise ship has used the port for 20 years and the operator Cruise and Maritime Voyages will be running trips to nine destinations across the world from the South West. There are also another nine departures planned for 2014.
The company said there had been plenty of demand for berths and only a few cabins were still available.
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Mike Hall, head of marketing at the firm, said: "Discovery will make her way to Bristol at the end of the month ready for her maiden CMV voyage on February 28, cruising for 15 nights to the Land of the Northern Lights.
"This stylish vessel is small enough to get to know your way around and offers the unique country house style experience on board that Cruise and Maritime Voyages is noted for."
Sue Turner, spokeswoman for the Bristol Port Company, said it was delighted the cruise ships would be operating from Avonmouth.
She said: "If you go back in history, you will see that Brunel had a vision of opening up travel for people by taking them by rail to Bristol and then across the Atlantic and other parts of the world by ship. What we have is a 21st century version of that vision, it is very exciting."
Passengers will be able to travel direct to the West Indies and also to Spain and Portugal.
The firm's commercial director Chris Coates said: "Our first eight departures of Discovery in 2013 will be from Bristol Avonmouth.
"We have already established a following of regular passengers from the South West of England so we have every confidence that our decision to add the port to our portfolio will be welcomed.
"Our feedback also shows that a convenient departure port is a key factor, hence our plans for Bristol.
"In addition interesting itineraries coupled with top quality service, delicious food and outstanding entertainment are our recipe for success.
"For 2013 we will continue to provide a traditional maritime experience for mainly British guests. "We will be exploring new horizons in addition to our perennial favourites and taking our passengers to many of the places not always accessible by the larger resort ships."