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A Close Look at Holyhead Cruise Terminal from Balmoral

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2011

The taken from Fred Olsen Lines' BALMORAL on Thursday August 10, 2011 on her maiden arrival at Holyhead Cruise Terminal. The majority of the staff at the terminal appeared to be wearing Anglesey Aluminium Metals uniforms and some of the vehicles present carried Anglesey Aluminium logos which suggest the aluminium company have a much bigger involvement in the running of the cruise terminal than do their partners - Stena Line. The former terminal which once handled alumina and coke has been modified to accept cruise ships since imports ceased in 2009 and the smelting plant mothballed.

The discharge gantries shorn of their discharge pipes, close inspection possible from deck 11 of BALMORAL suggest that they have just been cut off are parked at each end at of the berth obviously providing a windbreak.

The conveyor housing provides a shelter for passengers waiting for shuttle buses and coaches. The shuttle bus operation was very effective covering all possible passenger options - Terminal 1 - the main passenger terminal and station, Holyhead Town Centre and Newry Beach for the Maritime Museum. An information point for passengers and a gift shop are provided at the terminal as well as an internet suite and toilets. Also to be seen in the photographs below is a small stage which obviously can be used to provide welcome and farewell performances if required.

As the long pier from Salt Island to the terminal is only a single track road, radio communication was provided to ensure that there were no conflicts between tour coaches and shuttle buses. 

Unfortunately from shortly after arrival until late afternoon when your webmaster was back on board the weather was non too kind so the only photograph taken from shore side was from a shelter on the promenade to prevent the cameras getting a wetting.

On arrival and during departure there appeared to be a very enthusiastic photographer active on the quayside - he can be seen in a number of the photos - he certainly must have had some good shots.

It is often said to be difficult to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse but Anglesey Aluminium appear to have been able to do this in converting a utility structure into quite an effective terminal.

However it is interesting to note that the company has applied to extend the Aluminium Jetty by 245 metres in conjunction with the development of a Biomass Plant "for ships carrying raw materials associated with aluminium smelting and wood chip biomass fuel for the proposed Renewable Energy Plant (REP) at the AAM Works at Penrhos, Holyhead". How this may affect the continued use of the jetty as a cruise terminal remains to be seen.

Photographs taken around departure at 23:00 - BALMORAL sailing for Dublin Port.

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