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CMV expands ex-Wales cruising from Cardiff and Newport

Marco Polo will sail from Welsh capital Cardiff
Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) delivered a major boost to the cruise sector in Wales on Friday with a commitment to expand its programme from the Principality's ports of Cardiff and Newport.

CMV's first programme from Wales for 2017 sailings went on sale two months ago and is already 60% sold, commercial director Chris Coates told Seatrade Cruise News.

CMV fleet favourite Marco Polo will sail from the Welsh capital Cardiff to the Norwegian Fjords (May 14), Spain, Portugal and France (May 24) and the Scilly Isles, France and Belgium, including the River Seine (June 3).Sister ship Magellan is offering departures from Newport on May 28 (Belgium and France including River Seine), and June 4 (Norway and Ireland) with an option for a two night taster cruise to Dublin and Liverpool.

The programme was confirmed at a media and trade briefing held at the Celtic Manor Hotel Resort on the outskirts of the two ports.

Coates said: 'We are committed to developing our business out of south Wales. It is a minimum three year plan and we aim to be here in 2018 and 2019.'

The addition of the Welsh points brings the total number of UK departure points available to CMV guests to 11 and Coates acknowledged the support of Cruise Wales, the country's representative body and Cardiff and Newport port operators ABP in assisting its expansion.

Head of Cruise Wales Suzanne Thomas said: 'It's a great pleasure to work with CMV. The appeal of their programmes from Cardiff and Newport is huge to a very significant catchment area within easy reach of these ports.'

ABP' South Wales commercial manager Elizabeth Nash confirmed the start of a feasibility study to develop new cruise facilities at a third south Wales port, Swansea. 'We hope to have good news about this potential development next year, ' she told the briefing.