Carbon-neutral Portsmouth cruise terminal receives first ship call

Guests from Saga’s Spirit of Discovery were the first to make use of £11.25 million-facility

Carbon-neutral Portsmouth cruise terminal receives first ship call

Portsmouth International Port

Guests from Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery were welcomed as the first visitors to the new terminal

By Alex Smith |

Portsmouth International Port has received the first cruise ship call at its new £11.25 million ($14.3 million) carbon-neutral cruise terminal extension after 18 months of construction, as guests from Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery were welcomed to the UK port.

The new terminal has been built to accommodate a growth in cruise ships coming to the port, with over 100 calls and an additional 250,000 passengers expected in 2024. A berth extension and the addition of the new terminal will allow the port to handle ships up to 300 metres in length.

The port has incorporated a range of environmental technologies into the design of the terminal, including a system using sea water to heat and cool a building, a first for a UK port. Wind and solar technology have also been deployed to help power the building, while internal and external living walls help to purify air within the terminal. The combined elements will enable the building to produce more energy than it consumes, which will eventually make it a carbon-positive development.

Inside the terminal, the design features a sky garden, which is a public viewing space to watch activity across the port, a walkway between the existing terminal and an exclusive lounge area for passengers.

"This terminal transformation follows a number of significant infrastructure projects to position Portsmouth as not only one of the UK's leading ports, but a global one too,” said Mike Sellers, director of Portsmouth International Port. "After 18 months we now boast an inspiring terminal extension, ready to handle a forecast increase in trade. I'd like to thank everyone involved for their determination to have this ready for our first call from our customer Saga Cruises today."

The new terminal was funded as part of a successful £20 million ($25.5 million) bid for UK government funding, which also includes funding for a lido and the UK’s longest urban park in the city. The funding was provided on the basis of the economic impact of cruising in the city, with each call estimated to bring up to £1.5 million ($1.91 million) into the city.

"This is a landmark moment for the city and puts Portsmouth on the international map for its ambitions to grow the visitor experience,” said Councillor Gerlad Vernon-Jackson, cabinet member responsible for the port. "Portsmouth lends itself ideally as a cruise port, with wonderful heritage assets and a spectacular waterfront for arrivals and departures.  This new terminal extension is hoped to kick start further investment in the city, from hotel capacity to an increase in tourism spending.”

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