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July docking for giant cruise ship in Swansea

Hundreds of visitors on their way to Scandinavia will soon be discovering Swansea's Viking links during a bumper weekend for tourism in the city.

Saga Pearl

En route from Dover to Iceland, the 449-passenger Saga Pearl cruise ship will docking in Swansea on Sunday July 2 - the second day of the Wales Airshow that's again expected to attract many thousands of spectators.
 
Swansea is thought to have developed as a Viking trading post, with the city's name possibly deriving from the Norse name 'Sweyn' with the Norse word 'Ey', which can mean 'inlet'. This would support a theory that the city was founded by the Danish king, Sweyn Forkbeard.
 
Swansea Council is working with Cruise Wales and Associated British Ports to attract and arrange the Saga Pearl visit. Gower and Dylan Thomas-related tours are being made available to passengers, with shuttle buses to the city centre also being arranged.
 
The 19,000 ton Saga Pearl, which was refitted in Swansea docks in recent years, features seven passenger decks.
 
Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Major Projects, said: "We've been working with our colleagues in Cruise Wales to raise the profile of Swansea as a stopover for cruise ships, so it's great to see this hard work come to fruition as we welcome the Saga Pearl here next month.  

"Tourism is already worth more than £400m a year to Swansea's economy, so the arrival of this cruise ship, with another booked to dock in October, will further raise the profile of the destination. The impact of these additional visitors on the second day of the Wales Airshow in Swansea will lead to a bumper weekend for tourism here, with our businesses set to benefit from increased footfall and spending.
 
"With the vast bulk of the Saga Pearl passengers coming from the UK, their time in Swansea could also spark return visits in future because of the positive impression our city and its people always leave on visitors.
 
"The docking of the cruise ship in July builds on a successful start to 2017 for tourism in Swansea Bay, with figures showing one of our legendary adventures advertising campaigns reaching 60 million people between January and the end of April.
 
"We're optimistic this campaign will combine with others to attract even more visitors to Swansea Bay this year, helping support our hotels, bed and breakfasts, activity providers, shops, restaurants, pubs and other businesses."
 
The MS Hanseatic cruise ship will also be docking in Swansea in October. Built in Finland, the 403-foot vessel has capacity for 175 passengers.


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