As Royal Caribbean’s latest, and the world’s largest, ship Harmony of the Seas came to Southampton, the cruise line’s Strategic Operation Officer, Mike Jones, and Managing Director of UK and Ireland, Stuart Leven, announced a seven-year deal with the port of Southampton, worth £200 million to the local economy, at the official Plaques and Keys ceremony on board the ship.
The deal secures Southampton’s City Cruise Terminal as the official UK home of Royal Caribbean International and secures £5.5 million’s worth of investment from the holiday company. The investment has so far enabled Associated British Ports (ABP), owner and operator of the Southampton port, to prepare the terminal for a new generation of ships heralded by the arrival of the latest addition to Royal Caribbean’s 25-strong-fleet.
The improvements made to the terminal have been designed to enhance the embarkation experiences for both passenger and crew. New paperless check-in for passengers and a kerb-to-gangway processing of only 10 minutes makes it the fastest route from home-to-international holiday for holidaymakers.
Other upgrades include improvement to layout and security screening areas, free wifi throughout the terminal, step-free-access to ships up to Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class, as well as the addition of digital signage and ‘wow walls’ to build excitement as guests check-in. New air-conditioning has been installed throughout the terminal and port staff will welcome improved logistics enabling the port to handle up to 500 tonnes of stores.