Cardiff, is the largest seaport and the capital city of Wales (UK). The port is located on Bristol Channel, at the mouths of Ely and Taff rivers. The city is also Wales' largest - with population around 360,000 (metro ~1,1 million).
Downtown (Cathays Park) houses baroque-style buildings, including Welsh Office, City Hall, Assize Courts, Temple of Peace, the National Museum of Wales. In the city's centre are also Cardiff Castle (11th-century, houses the Welch Regiment Museum and the Welsh School of Music and Drama), St John the Baptist Church (15th-century), Llandaff Cathedral (6th-century). At Cardiff Bay (old docks area) was created "Europe's most exciting waterfront development" incorporating shops, museums, restaurants, residences, boat marina.
Port Cardiff has a wide range of facilities to handle cargo ships, including dedicated terminals for liquid bulk carriers and container ships. The port (officially "Cardiff Docks") is located approx 4 km (2,5 mi) from downtown and approx 23 km (14 mi) from road Junctions 29 and 30 of motorway M4. The port has direct links to country's rail network.
Until the early-1920s, the port was among the world's largest by dock quay length (nearly 11 lm / 7 mi). Its current import and export shipping business are mainly TEU containers, steel and scrap metal, timber, dry and liquid bulk cargoes. Currently, the port has 3 operational docks (Queen Alexandra Dock, Roath Dock, Roath Basin) with capacity to handle vessels with max DWT 35,000 tons. Roath Basin is used only as alternative berth and is accessible only via Roath Dock.
ABP (Associated British Ports) has significant investments in port's infrastructure (container terminal, distribution terminal), indoor and outdoor storages, cold storage (for perishable goods), cargo handling equipment (7 quayside gantry cranes plus mobile cranes). ABP South Wales also manages the cruise terminal. ABP owns and operates 21x UK ports and a total of 9250 acres (3743 hectares / 37,4 km2) of freehold land, of which 960 hectares (9,6 km2) are strategic development lands in prime locations across the UK.
In late-June 2020, Port Cardiff signed a contract with Valero Energy Corporation (1980-founded, San Antonio Texas USA-headquartered company that specializes in manufacturing and marketing of transportation fuels, petrochemical products and natural-gas condensate/liquids).
- The long-term agreement includes Cardiff Docks' storage and distribution terminal (sized 12 acres / 5 hectares / 0,05 km2) which is adjacent to ABP's Roath Basin. The terminal is served by oil tankers importing Valero's road fuels (petrol, ULSD-ultralow sulphur diesel, biofuels) and heating fuels. From Port Cardiff, the fuels are distributed to South Wales' markets.
- Valero (via coastal tankers) links its refinery in Pembroke Dock with its storage and distribution terminals in the UK-Ireland, thus accessing ~1,5 million people living in Cardiff metro (~half of Wales' population).
- For the project, ABP Cardiff made significant investments in port's infrastructure, including jetty upgrades (GBP 0,4 million) and replacing port's inner and outer lock gates (GBP 5 million).
Port's cruising season runs from May through September. The best place to see passing cruise liners is Cardiff Bay Barrage. Among the regular cruise companies visiting the seaport is CMV-Cruise and Maritime Voyages which homeports in Cardiff (as a turnaround port / for roundtrip itineraries) MS Marco Polo.
Cardiff cruise terminal
Cruise ships in Cardiff UK dock (anchor) in Cardiff Bay.
From the terminal, the distance to Cardiff International Airport is 16 km (10 mi). From the cruise port, Cardiff Central (train station) is approx 1,5 km (1 mi). The same is the distance between the port to downtown.