Portsmouth International Port is set to welcome 150,000 cruise passengers annually in the next few years, following the announcement construction firm Knights Brown will lead the multi-million pound project to increase the size of cruise ships the Port can manage.
From November the biggest cruise investment the city has seen gets underway, this involves complex engineering work to reconfigure the cruise berth, meaning once completed by spring next year the Port can handle ships up to 255m in length.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said: “This is the start of an incredibly exciting and bold plan for cruise, over the next few years there will be a remarkable difference in how Portsmouth is perceived as a leading competitor thanks to our experienced cruise experts who have recently joined the senior management team.
“A successful cruise and ferry port provides a wide benefit to the city including a significant contribution towards employment, increased sales for tourist attractions, not to mention an opportunity for residents in the surrounding Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex area to experience convenient travel abroad.”
Increasing the length of ships the port can manage up to 255m opens up more of the cruise market for the city, making the possibility of visits from the major lines such as Silverseas, Crystal, Fred Olsen, Saga, CMV, a regular occurrence.
The Port has seen a steady number of cruise calls, with 50 expected in 2019 resulting in 50,000 passengers. The aim is to grow to over 100 by 2022, delivering over 150,000 passengers.