Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 2021 is set to become the most successful in Portsmouth International Port’s history for cruise operations, with a record number of days alongside, maiden calls, and forecast economic growth for the city, published in a report to Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 5 October.
By the end of the year the port is expected to see over 130 days of ships alongside, in comparison to the last previous high of 65.
The port has seen the most ever maiden calls, with eight new cruise ships coming to Portsmouth for the first time including TUI’s Marella and Marella Explorer 2, the world largest square-rigged sailing vessel, Golden Horizon, Regent’s Seven Seas’ Splendor, Fred Olsen’s Borealis.
Virgin Voyages launched their world first passenger sailing from the city on their brand ship Scarlet Lady, which at 277m is the now the largest ship ever managed by the port.
Finally luxury line Viking launched their first UK based turnarounds from the city, and also the inaugural departure for their brand new vessel Viking Venus.
The port also hosted its first naming ceremony, which saw Saga’s Spirit of Adventure christened in Portsmouth with a traditional bottle smashing event, live streamed across the globe.
In August the port also managed three cruise ships at one time, making use of multi berths.
With plans to create a terminal extension to accommodate the anticipated increase in cruise passengers due to be completed by spring 2023, an independent assessment from Oxford Economics on the value of cruise growth to the city over a 40 year period from 2021 has been estimated securing £205m for UK GDP per annum.
The terminal transformation development will support an average GDP contribution of £43 million per annum to the Portsmouth City Council area over a 40-year period.