THE Port of Southampton is set to enjoy one of the busiest weekends of the year when it welcomes 10 cruise ships and nearly 55,000 passengers.
On Saturday (August 19) Norwegian Jade, Queen Mary 2, Navigator of the Seas, Mein Shiff 1 and Azura will be visiting the port and on Sunday (August 20) Queen Elizabeth, Arcadia, Independence of the Seas, Braemar and Aurora.
Every time a cruise ship comes to Southampton, it is estimated to boost the economy by up to £2.5m with taxis, hotels, restaurants and bars among those benefiting from the thousands of people who enjoy cruise holidays.
Ensuring everything runs smoothly is a team effort involving planning with agents ahead of their arrival, pin-point accuracy from the operations team to oversee passengers departing, new supplies arriving and more passengers joining the cruise ships.
And as well as the cruise ships, the port will welcome the usual weekend contingent of Ro-Ro vessels and container ships.
It really is a team effort to ensure the ships are turned around safely with everyone from stevedores to check-in staff, security teams and operations staff working together to create a seamless experience.
For the marine team, everyone from the VTS staff, the air traffic control for the sea, to the marine pilots who bring the ships safely alongside, will be involved in the smooth running of the weekend.
Director Alastair Welch, said: “This will be a busy weekend for the port as alongside the cruise ships, we will also have Ro-Ro vessels and container ships accessing the port too.
“It really is a team effort that ensures the ships arrive and depart safely. With the trend for cruise travel on an upward curve, we are likely to see more weekends like this in the port.”
The port works closely with Southampton City Council to ensure the local roads run smoothly on busy cruise weekends and travel updates are available via https://myjourneysouthampton.com/