Portsmouth will welcome vessels like Crystal Symphony more regularly with new berth (Image: Portsmouth International Port)
Portsmouth International Port is set to welcome 150,000 cruise passengers each year following the completion of its multimillion-pound berth extension project, which has just been started in collaboration with construction firm Knights Brown.
The renovation will include levelling out the cruise berth and building an additional dolphin. As a result, ships up to 255 metres in length will be able to safely and conveniently berth at the port.
“This is the start of an incredibly exciting and bold plan for cruise,” said Mike Sellers, director of Portsmouth International Port. “Over the next few years there will be a remarkable difference in how Portsmouth is perceived as a leading competitor.
“A successful cruise and ferry port provides a wide benefit to the city including a significant contribution towards employment and increased sales for tourist attractions, not to mention an opportunity for residents in the surrounding Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex area to experience convenient travel abroad.”
With the new berth, Portsmouth International Port will be able to accept regular calls from major cruise lines such as Crystal Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Saga and Silversea Cruises.
“Being in a position where we can accommodate the size of ships major lines have in their fleet means we're in a great place to attract over 100 calls in the small, mid-size luxury and expedition cruise sector,” said Ian Diaper, head of operations at Portsmouth International Port. “Many cruise lines are also increasing their fleet, so we have a real opportunity to accommodate demand.
“Once the cruise berth extension is complete, we’ll then turn our attention to transforming the current terminal building in anticipation for an upsurge in passengers. We’ll be looking to accommodate up to 2,000 cruise guests, which will mean additional check-in desks, security and lounge facilities, plus a baggage hall able to handle the passenger volumes expected.”
The port has seen a steady number of cruise calls, with 50 expected in 2019 which will bring 50,000 passengers to the city. The aim is to grow to over 100 calls by 2022, delivering over 150,000 passengers.
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