Carmarthen Bay Ferries is a Community Interest Company set up to re-establish the ancient passenger ferry service on the Tywi estuary between the villages of Llansteffan and Ferryside. Incorporated a year ago, with support from the Coastal Communities Fund it uses a unique, iconic, amphibious boat "Glansteffan" to ferry passengers between the two communities; 5 minutes apart by water, 45 minutes by road.
The service is coming to the end of its first year of operations. It has been used by over 5000 people, made over 1200 crossings and is planning for the 2020 season. Much has been learnt during the last year and boat trips up the three rivers (Gwendraeth, Taf and Tywi) which feed into Carmarthen Bay and wildlife trips beyond the sand bar into the Bay itself have become a key component of our sustainability strategy.
The business is growing and contributes to Carmarthenshire's coastal tourism strategy. It links with the Welsh Coastal Path and carries bicycles and dogs free of charge.
The vessel was named Glansteffan by children in the primary schools either side of the estuary. A combination of Glanyfferi (the Welsh name for Ferryside) and Llansteffan, it is a look into a future and in which the ferry service might result in greater interaction between the two communities.
As part of its marketing and sustainability strategy, the company is selling a limited number of go anytime ferry passes for 2020. Currently only available to residents of the two estuarine communities, these go anytime, as often as you want, ferry passes allow unlimited ferry crossings. They are now being extended to everyone. Numbers are limited and the offer closes on the 30th Sept. They may be obtained by simply pledging £50 or more to the company. £100 pledges secure a go anytime ferry pass and two boat trips in 2020.
Enjoyed by both communities, the sight of the ferry plying across the estuary has become a warming and familiar sight for villagers on both shores.
Rated 4.5 on Tripadvisor here are a couple of the testimonials
"Had a fantastic trip on Glansteffan. Staff wonderful and helpful. It’s a short trip, but really worth doing. It’s great to see how it travels on wheels and sea"
"This was just a short ride, about 15 mins, from Llansteffan to Ferryside. It was a sunny, breezy day but the ride was remarkably smooth. The two 'pilots' are great and made sure we were safe and comfortable before setting off. We spent a couple of hours at Ferryside Open Gardens event before the return journey. I must admit, we wouldn't have bothered driving around to Ferryside, so taking "GlanSteffan" across the estuary meant extra visitors to the event. "