CMV became the first operator to offer cruises from Bristol Avonmouth on England’s south west coast for 20 years when 700 passenger Discovery started a season of nine sailings on February 28 this year.
CMV will have carried 3,750 passengers from Avonmouth when Discovery repositions next month in Liverpool. CMV’s other vessel Marco Polo will depart Bristol in November for a 28-night cruise to the Caribbean.
Mike Hall, head of marketing at CMV said, ‘It had not occurred to me that the origins of the often used expression ‘Ship shape and Bristol fashion’ comes from the 18th Century. Many sources say it was first used by the Royal Navy, in Bristol. The phrase was said in order to describe the way things were kept neat, tidy and well stowed on board a ship. This has certainly been a most favourable sell out involvement for CMV in Bristol and certainly fits this expression.’
Sue Turner, director of communications at The Bristol Port Company, said: ‘We are thrilled to have cruise ships back at Bristol Port this spring and we look forward to working with CMV next year too. The feedback from passengers has been inspirational. They tell us how easy it is to get to Avonmouth and even seasoned cruise-goers have been very complimentary about how cheerful and helpful our boarding and disembarkation teams are. We're off to a good start and cruising from Bristol Port has a great future.’
Hall added, ‘the good road and transport system in and around the port makes life easy and a good start and finish to a cruise holiday. Sailing out and back through the Avonmouth Lock is a unique experience for many and a great photo opportunity.'
Ships using Bristol have to navigate a 11mtr deep, 30mtr wide and 268mtr long lock using local tug operators. Discovery is 210mtr long with a draft of 7.5mtr and beam of 24.5mtr.
Following the success of the operation in Bristol CMV is planning extra departures next year in addition to the eight already scheduled. These include a 15 night Northern Lights cruise departing February 24, 2014 and a one night mini-cruise March 11, up to Liverpool.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is adding Bristol Avonmouth as a new departure port in 2014. Boudicca will sail four cruises between April and June.