Zombie sailors … scorched decks … ghost ships in Cardiff on Sunday 15 May …

On May 15, a ghost ship – replete with freshly married couple and zombie sailors – will be docked in Cardiff Bay … all inspired by Samuel Coleridge’s poetic monolith, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Does the title ring a faint bell? You probably studied this back in school at some point, and can’t really remember what goes on. Know what though? Doesn’t matter. This year the Coleridge in Wales Festival is bringing Coleridge back to life, here in Wales, and you need to get involved!

Oh, and did I mention ZOMBIE DECKHANDS? DOOMED LOVERS? A proper old school historic sailing ship??


A quick Q&A:

Who’s Coleridge?

Old school English poet/writer dude. Wrote in the late 1700/early 1800s. Pretty much considered part of the canon of British literature. That’s the vibe.

Why Wales?

In 1794, Coleridge quit university and decided to walk across Wales instead. Wise man. The landscape and people are credited as being massive influences on all his work.

Still with me? Fancy helping with some wedding prep and then hanging out on a ghost ship? Here are the details about the day:

An historic sailing ship is coming into Cardiff Bay. On board is an old sailor: the Ancient Mariner. He will come ashore. A wedding is about to happen. There will be a bride preparing, a groom waiting and wedding guests getting ready. The Ancient Mariner interrupts the wedding preparations. He takes the guest on a journey…

Come along dressed as if you were going to a wedding. Bring family & friends and enjoy the music, poetry and spectacle – that’s it!


from 10.45am – Music & poetry across Cardiff Bay at the Norwegian Church, The World of Boats Cafe (next to Dr Who Experience), Senedd Steps and Wales Millennium Centre
Come along to discover more about this compelling tale, adventure, spectacle and celebration. Coleridge’s poem Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the finest poems in the English language and it begins with preparations for a wedding – you, your family and friends are invited… wedding invitation

12.00 noon – Ship of the Ancient Mariner departs Penarth Marina
The ship will be dressed by students from Cardiff Met University and at midday she sails from Penarth Marina heading for Cardiff Bay.

at the same time 20 young people set out to walk across the Cardiff Barrage to Cardiff Bay representing 200 sailors who die in the poem because the Ancient Mariner unthinkingly destroys a living thing, the albatross.

12.30pm – Ship arrives in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay
See the medieval sailing ship sailed by a ghost crew.
Witness the Ancient Mariner figure coming ashore in Mermaid Quay.

12.50 pm – Ancient Mariner figure arrives at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
Coleridge’s great poem begins with a wedding guest being stopped by the Ancient Mariner. In the Cardiff Bay celebrations the wedding groom’s party is represented by members of The Sanctuary project from Newport. The bride is represented by Cornish bard, Welsh singer and artist Ani Saunders and friends. Come along as if dressed for a wedding… wedding invitation

2.50 pm – Music and words on the steps of The Senedd, National Assembly for Wales

1.30pm: Public party at the Wales Millennium Centre
Call into to hear leading Welsh musicians as the Wales Millennium Centre hosts a party to celebrate the launch of the Coleridge in Wales festival.

2.50pm – Ancient Mariner leaves for the National Museum
The figure of The Ancient Mariner leaves Cardiff Bay by small boat, travelling up the River Taf, on a short journey to the National Museum of Wales, Park Place, Cardiff.
At this time of day there are regular buses from the Millennium Centre to the Museum, and trains from Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Queen Street for anyone wishing to travel to see the Ancient Mariner figure at the National Museum.

3.45pm: Ancient Mariner at the National Museum of Wales
The Ancient Mariner figure arrives with the wedding party at the National Museum of Wales, Park Place to see the newly displayed engravings of Rime of the Ancient Mariner by major artist David Jones.

More about Coleridge in Wales:

In Wales Coleridge began for the first time to engage passionately with the wildness of nature. The tour confirmed his career as an artist. Famous lines from Rime of the Ancient Mariner were inspired by climbing on a hot day the mountain Penmaenmawr in North Wales.  Caves and landscape in his great poem Kubla Khan are linked to Devil’s Bridge near Aberystwyth.

Coleridge in Wales website


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One thought on “Zombie sailors … scorched decks … ghost ships in Cardiff on Sunday 15 May …”

  1. Hi, I am a local mua,special effects artist and would love to help out. I have my own blood,makeup etc. If you need a hand give me a shout.


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