Le_Diamant_1.jpgAfter a hard day watching Europe’s golfers take on America in the Ryder Cup, some of the most privileged spectators will be spending their evenings relaxing on a luxurious cruise ship.
The French-owned Le Diamant has been chartered for the weekend and today berthed in Newport, just five miles from the course at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Golf fans have each paid from £3,000 for the cheapest cabins and up to £6,550 for the owners’ suite for five nights accommodation on their floating hotel, which carries 226 passengers and 120 crew.
The fare included admission the the Ryder Cup matches, opening ceremony and Thursday practice. Shuttle buses will take them to the golf course, and in the evenings they will have use of the ship’s two restaurants, fitness centre and casino.
I have a feeling that Welsh ports had been hoping to attract rather more than this one small ship for the event. In February 2007 they produced a brochure – illustrated with a picture of the 2,600-passenger liner Queen Mary 2 – highlighting the facilities available for up to 20 vessels in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Barry.
During the winter Le Diamant will be cruising in the Far East, and next summer it will be based in Portsmouth, offering intimate voyages around the UK and Ireland visiting ports such as Whitby, Penzance, Galway and Iona.