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Bay Island Voyages (Cardiff)

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Address: Cardiff Bay / Wales

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      26.06.2009 15:18
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      An exciting experience that's highly recommended! :o)

      I thought I would add Bay Island Voyages to DooYoo as I went on one of their speedboats recently, and think it's a great, must-do activity if you're out and about around Cardiff.

      ... Who are they? ...

      Bay Island Voyages pride themselves on being the 'original rib ride'. They appear to be very popular and definitely seem to be a very responsible and respectable company. They operate speedboat rides around Cardiff Bay, and their website, www.baylislandvoyages.org.uk, is very informative if you'd like further details or wish to make a booking.

      .... What is it? ...

      3 types of cruises are offered:
      Island Sightseeing - a 2 hour boat ride for those who want to adventure beautiful scenery
      Costal Blast - a 1hr speedboat ride around Cardiff Bay. This is their most popular ride and the one I went on.
      Group/Fun bay cruises - perfect for parties and kids birthdays

      Alternatively, if you're feeling brave and very adventurous (and can afford to), the boats are available to hire at a rate of £96 per half hour, £165 for one hour and £265 for two hours.

      ... The Boats ...

      After going on their Costal Blast cruise, I can vouch for how safe I felt the boat was. They're 'rigid' inflatable 12 seater RIBs, which are 'powered by the latest generation of marine engines'. They're stable and strong enough to withstand the weather, so come rain or shine the boat trips are more than likely to go ahead. Safety checks and inspections are constantly undertaken, and the crew are professional and qualified. The boats can take 12 passengers and two crew members, and with weight the boats can do 60MPH. Trust me when I say they can shift when they want to!

      ... Who's it for? ...

      Although boat rides seem to appeal as a sight-seeing attraction and something to do if you're visiting the area, this isn't just for 'tourists'. It's a perfect way to get some fresh air, feel exhilarated and do something different. I was quite surprised to find that a lot of kids also go on these speedboats, and they try to adapt their service to cater for different needs. For example, young children and those with disabilities, including wheelchair-bound people, are welcomed. When we were on the boat, we were told that if anyone had any back problems that they should make them known, but I think this is a precaution as it was quite breezy that day and there's a risk of jarring your back. That said, the seats have a good sturdy back which you should lean back on. Birthday parties also seem popular, as are corporate events. On their website, there's even a picture of Eamon Holmes and Shane Warne enjoying a cruise!

      ... How Much? ...

      The one hour speedboat ride I went on cost £18 per person. I thought this was rather expensive when I booked my place, but when you consider what's involved in organising these trips, it's not over-priced. This was a one-off special for me, and the first time I've been on a speedboat, and once I stepped off the boat I definitely felt that it was worth every penny.

      ... The Procedure ...

      As per their website, rides should be booked in advance. There's a number you can call to reserve your place, which you then pay for at the office. The office, which is actually a trailor, can be found at the bay which is marked "Bay Island Voyages" (this is adjacent to the Welsh Assembly Debating Chamber). There's plenty of parking around the bay, such as opposite Techniquest. Once you've paid, you're given a waterproof jacket with hood which is very good quality. You also get an inflatable life jacket which fits fairly comfortably on top of the waterproof. As for bags, when I went on the 1hr cruise, the seats on the boat had built in lockers. You just unlock and lift up your seat, and can place a small bag/handbag into it so it's kept safe. It's a good idea to turn up 20 minutes before you're due to set off on the boat to allow time for getting your jacket on and getting aboard the boat. Once you're sat down, a crew member briefly outlines the safety procedures which took under a minute. We were told what to expect and that if anyone had any worries at any point to simply raise a hand and the ride can be stopped.

      ... The 1hr costal cruise ...

      The boat started at a relatively moderate pace, and once the crew member said they were ready to go, the speed kicked in. This isn't a slow-paced cruise by any means. It's fast and exciting, but you do get some breathing time whilst waiting at the dock to go through out into the open. It depends what the weather conditions are like when you go, but when I went it was fairly breezy and the water was relatively choppy so I had quite a bumpy ride! I sat towards the back on the right hand side, and ended up getting soaked. It went so fast that I couldn't always keep my eyes open because of the wind and spray from the water, which was quite cold and sharp. I didn't put my hood up and that would have taken away the fun, and actually, getting wet added to the experience. On the way back, because I didn't have the wind in my face, I was able to look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery. By the time the ride was over, my hair was everywhere, completely knotted up, my jeans were sodden and the salty sea water was starting to dry to my face. But when I stepped off the boat, I felt liberated and the one hour (which sounded like a very long time) seemed to have gone very quickly.

      ... Overall ...

      I thoroughly enjoyed this speedboat ride! The crew were friendly but professional and I felt like I was in safe hands. The boat was stable and of good quality, as were the waterproofs. I would definitely recommend this to anyone, especially if you've never been on a speedboat before. It may seem a tad pricey, but it was definitely worth every penny in my opinion!

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    • Product Details

      Adventure boating specialists.