A rendering of the Port of Southampton's new cruise terminal, which will open in 2021
Associated British Ports is to open a new cruise terminal at the Port of Southampton in England in 2021 to strengthen its position as “Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port and the UK’s number one departure port”.
To be built at a cost of more than £55 million (US$73 million), the new facility will be Southampton’s fifth dedicated cruise terminal and has received an £8 million grant from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership through the UK Government’s Getting Building Fund.
The terminal will be equipped with shore power technology to enable cruise ships to turn off their engines and instead run their onboard systems via power from the local electricity grid when in port. It will also benefit from roof-mounted solar power.
“We’re very pleased to announce this major advance in our cruise infrastructure at the port, delivering further access to Southampton for the industry, while supporting our commitment to accelerate improvements in local air quality,” said Alastair Welch, director of ABP Southampton. “This investment is a huge vote of confidence in the future of cruise in Southampton and we’re excited to be at the forefront of a growing industry.”
Both MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) have partnered with Associated British Ports, agreeing to call at the new terminal.
“This agreement marks the continuation of the strong partnership between NCLH and the Port of Southampton and demonstrates our commitment to the region,” said Steve Moeller, senior vice president of commercial development at NCLH. “Consistent with our commitment to driving a positive impact on society and the environment, we are pleased to further promote environmental conservancy by partnering with Associated British Ports for the new terminal that will feature shore power and roof-mounted solar power.”
MSC Cruises has pledged to homeport a vessel at the new terminal every year once it opens. In addition, MSC Magnifica will homeport in Southampton next year with sailings to Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
“Over the past five years MSC Cruises has increased our presence in the UK and Irish markets and, following a positive response from travel agents and our guests, we feel now is the right time to make a more substantial commitment,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. "We are in a unique position that not only will we be committing to having an MSC Cruises’ ship homeport from Southampton every year, but several of our ships will be visiting Southampton as a destination as part of our wider cruise programme.”
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