FISHGUARD port has given a warm welcome a new cruise ship to the bay, which has previously braved an attack from Somali pirates and weathered huge storms.

Stena Line at Fishguard Port and the Fishguard Bay welcome team welcomed the first visit to the Port of the cruise ship Nautica.

As well as providing a great reception for the passengers, which included a male voice choir and the usual warm welcome from Jemima and the Fishguard friendly faces, they were also greeted by some of the Fishguard Town Council, Fishguard Town Team, Pembrokeshire County Council leaders and department heads, and representatives of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

The visiting dignitaries had been invited to experience the welcome at Fishguard Port for cruise passengers and a welcome breakfast was also provided.

Though the weather was damp, it did not affect the proceedings and both passengers and invited guests enjoyed the event.

Cruise Ship MS Nautica carries 684 passengers and more than 400 crew, on a wide variety of cruises around the world.

Clientele is primarily North American, with the remainder of the passengers on today’s visit being from 19 other countries.

In November 2008, the cruise ship was travelling through an area of the Gulf of Aden patrolled by anti-piracy task forces when two small pirate skiffs began to approach the vessel.

The skiffs tried to intercept the Nautica’s course, but the captain Jurica Brajcic and his crew began evasive manoeuvres and were able to outrun the pirates.

One skiff did manage to fire eight rifle shots towards the Nautica, but no one aboard was harmed and no damage was sustained.

In September last year, Nautica’s visit to Greenock in Scotland saw the ship’s crew wrestle with the 102mph Storm Ali.

The Nautica became adrift from its moorings in the high winds, and was pulled back into port by two tug boats.

No guests or crew members were harmed during the storm.