Balmoral had a good complement of passengers aboard for her last round-trip cruise of the season from Penarth Pier yesterday (Sunday October 8th)  . She’s pictured here leaving  Penarth Pier and setting course  for Ilfracombe in calm seas and fine weather

MV Balmoral gave  toot on her horn yesterday as she left Penarth for her last round trip of the season from Penarth – a voyage to Ilfracombe and back.

She returned to Penarth  Pier last night and then anchored off Penarth overnight before early this morning returning to Penarth Pier to pick up her last passengers of the season for a final one-way trip from Penarth to Bristol Docks where she will be laid up for the winter.

06:45 am Monday October 9th 2017. Balmoral arriving for the very last time in 2017 at Penarth Pier

At first light this morning  however  there was only a small turn out of passengers for the early breakfast-time final voyage of the season.

When Balmoral  cast off from Penarth Pier in the grey dawn, there was no customary end-of-season toot on her horn – perhaps a concession to local residents living on the sea front who might have been still asleep.

The ship’s crew had gone to the trouble of dressing the little ship overall in maritime signal flags to provide a sense of occasion for her morning departure – but there were, alas,  few people on the pier or on the Esplanade to see her as she let go her lines  for the last time at 07:15 and turned towards Bristol and the long gloomy winter ahead.

This morning – proudly dressed overall with signal flags –   Balmoral sailed away from Penarth into the mist of a grudging, grey dawn and – perhaps – an uncertain future

Passengers sailing on her from Penarth to Bristol this morning were to be brought back from Bristol by coach.

Today brings to an end a difficult and testing season for Balmoral and for the MV Balmoral Trust which operates her,  but all concerned hope the  little ship, which has brought so much pleasure to so many people in Penarth, will be back again next summer.

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  1. AK says:

    A great day out to Ilfracombe on a lovely sunny flat calm day. Few younger people or families on board – maybe the pricing, or the youngsters prefer their ipads to fresh air.

    I mentioned it to someone who livesd in Cardiff all his life and he said ‘where’s Ilfracombe?’ !!

    I look forward to being out on Balmoral and Waverley in 2018, whatever the weather.

  2. whatsoccurn says:

    Very positive articles-remember speaking to the volunteers at the start of the season a couple of years ago-they said that settled weather was crucial but since then we have had two awful summers-times have changed and it is now more difficult to get people out of the house-recall not that long ago they were turning passengers away-but we need to be aware that the ships Balmoral/Waverley are very much part of Penarth and once they are gone,they are gone.

  3. andrewsketty says:

    I was on the Esplanade yesterday as the passengers were embarking the Balmoral. It was packed! Great to see the kiosks and shops on the Pier open early to cater for the passengers….with the exception of course of the Pavilion Cafe which was in darkness and only opened at its usual time of 10am – the same time that the Balmoral was sailing off!

    Considering the 100s of thousands of pounds PACL are getting from Lotter funding to ‘make them more commercial’ you would expect them to seize such opportunities to make some money wouldn’t you?

  4. Lm says:

    Totally agree
    Will support all we can !
    We love both ships

  5. John Powell says:

    The ships arepart of the town, and help – literally – to put us on the map.
    Sad not to be able to go out on a trip this year, really hope they’ll be back.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    Feel honoured to have these ships visiting the town – and it’s a wonderful day out.
    Looking forward to going again next year – a really wonderful experience.

Comments are closed.