The “Princess Royal” – the big long yellow waterbus in which thousands of Penarthians have travelled across Cardiff Bay over the last 18 years – has been hoisted out of the water at Penarth Marina for the last time
The boat has been sold to a Liverpool passenger vessel operator and will shortly be on her way North for new career in the Albert Dock – now one city’s main tourist attractions.
The Princess Royal‘s departure was an emotional occasion today for the owner and founder of the innovative Cardiff Bay waterbus business Mr Steve Critchley and for his staff .
Mr Critchley said the offer for Princess Royal had come from Liverpool cruise operator, Mr Mike Hancock. Steve Critchley said the deal had all come about in a matter of just two and a half weeks – so quickly in fact that – even as Princess Royal was being lifted out of the water of Cardiff Bay for the last time – it had all seemed a little unreal .
He and his staff were this afternoon bidding farewell to a boat which has been part of their lives since the turn of the century.
Powered by a single diesel engine, the 55 foot long Princess Royal is so long she needs precise handling skills of the highest order to turn her through 180-degrees in the narrow confines of the Marina and around the landing pontoons of Cardiff Bay.
Princess Royal is the last of three vessels operated by Mr Critchley’s firm in Cardiff Bay – all of whom – with this latest deal – have now gone on to operate in other venues under new owners .