THE LAUNCH of Cardiff Cruises’ new sightseeing boat trips from Penarth Pier has been thrown into doubt after fundraising for a new gangway proved "slower than anticipated".

Cardiff Cruises is now unsure of when it will be able to set sail for its inaugural cruise from Penarth Pier and said that the launch was "in jeopardy".

The new boat trips were due to launch from the pier on Bank Holiday Monday, May 5, but due to a lack of funding for a new gangway, the start date has been postponed until May 10.

Although volunteers and staff at Penarth Pier have been working hard to raise money for the gangway, it doesn't seem likely that the gangway will be in place by the proposed launch date of May 5.

A spokesman from the company said: "Cardiff Cruises have a gangway that they currently use to board passengers at Cardiff Bay. However, due to the size of the gap between the landing stage and the outer posts of Penarth Pier, the gangway is just too short and heavy. Unfortunately, Cardiff Cruises are unable to purchase the gangway themselves. This is mainly due to the fact that a new gangway comes with great expense, especially when it needs to comply with strict regulations. The gangway that has been approved for use by Penarth Pier costs £1600 and is specifically adapted to span across the 1m gap presented by the pier at certain tide heights."

Martyn Driscoll, the Managing Director of Cardiff Cruises, added: “We have been training the crew and the pier staff to ensure we can land against the pier effectively and safely. Because of the variety of tide heights we recognised our existing gangway would be an issue for us due to its weight and the gap to span at the pier. We also want to ensure any accidents are avoided and must comply with strict regulations when boarding passengers, all of which have led to this delay. We are eager to get the cruises started as soon as possible”.

Cardiff Cruises are now in close communication with Penarth Pier and Penarth Pavilion to ensure that a gangway is available for a second proposed launch date of May 10, 2014.

For further information or to pre-book for one of the upcoming trips go to