After the record year for cruises at Portsmouth International Port, a multi-million pound economic boost is forecast
|Published: October 6, 2021 3:09 PM|
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, 2021 will be the most successful year in the history of Portsmouth International Port for cruise operations, with a record number of days, maiden calls and projected economic growth for the city, published in a report to the Portsmouth City Cabinet Council on Tuesday 5th October .
By the end of the year, the port is expected to see over 130 days of shipping traffic, compared to the last previous high of 65.
The port has seen the most maiden calls of all time, with eight new cruise lines coming to Portsmouth for the first time including TUIs Marella and Marella Explorer 2, the world’s largest square sail ship, Golden Horizon, Regent’s Seven Seas’ Splendor, Fred Olsen’s Borealis. Virgin Voyages launched its world’s first passenger shipping service from the city on their branded ship Scarlet Lady, which at 277 m is the largest ship ever to be managed by the port. Eventually, the luxury line Viking launched its first UK-based turnarounds from the city, as well as the first departure for its brand new ship Viking Venus.
The port also held its first naming ceremony where Saga’s Spirit of Adventure was christened in Portsmouth with a traditional bottle smashing that was broadcast live around the world.
In August, the port also managed three cruise ships at the same time and used several berths.
With plans to create a terminal expansion to cope with the expected increase in cruise passengers, which should be completed by spring 2023, an independent assessment by Oxford Economics has estimated the value of cruise growth for the city over 40 years from 2021 to Â£. to secure 205 million for UK GDP per year.
Terminal remodeling development will support an average GDP contribution of Â£ 43 million per year for the Portsmouth City Council area over 40 years.
Cllr Gerald Vernon Jackson, Chairman of Portsmouth City Council, said: âIt is refreshing to say that this year was very successful for the port and that it is in an excellent position for further growth.
âThe numbers we have seen from independent experts are enormous, as are the benefits for the city. That is why the terminal expansion project is crucial in order to be able to cope with the increase in passengers.
âNext year, the port will welcome Virgin Voyages and the second edition back to its Valiant Lady fleet, attracting 2,800 passengers per call. It is expected that this could give the city a Â£ 1.5 million boost for each trip through direct and indirect costs.
“This report underscores that we are heading in the right direction with our cruise ambitions and are already seeing the rewards.”
Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port Director said: âAlthough these have been a difficult couple of years for the industry, we have seen real creativity from cruise lines in the way they operate in the UK market.
âThe entire team worked tirelessly to make it through an incredibly busy time and the results speak for themselves.
âOur ambition was to grow consistently in the small and medium-sized market, and this strategy is proving to be successful.
âWe are winning new lines for the British market that complement the current cruise offer in the south of England.
“Our terminal expansion is an essential infrastructure development to support this upward trend and I am pleased that the work will soon take shape.”
The port will find ways to collect data from passengers on the number of nights spent and work with our partners to maximize the opportunities for hotels and attractions in the city.
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