Cruise Ships in Portsmouth: The days spent in the city harbor are double the previous record – leading to an increase of £ 43 million

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Scarlet Lady under a brooding sky. Image by Neil Campbell.

Record numbers are forecast for 2021, including a doubling of the number of days cruise ships spend on the side and the associated economic boom in the city, according to a report.

And an independent economic evaluation by Oxford Economics, commissioned by the port’s management, estimated the value of the city’s cruise industry at £ 205 million annually to the country over the next 40 years.

Over the same period, expansion work on the terminal is expected to boost Portsmouth City Council’s economy by £ 43 million a year.

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Cruise ship Scarlet Lady leaves Portsmouth on Friday 3rd September 2021 View from the Round Tower, Old Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Port Director Mike Sellers, who drafted the port’s progress report, said work is being done to continue the uptrend, including expanding its terminal.

“Although these have been a difficult couple of years for the industry, we have seen real creativity from cruise lines in the way they operate, including how they operate differently for the UK market,” he said. ‘It was our ambition to grow consistently in the medium-sized market, and this strategy is proving to be successful.’

The report, which was scrutinized by the Council’s cabinet on Tuesday, shows the port is expected to reach cruise ships for more than 130 days this year.

Scarlet Lady from Virgin Voyages passes the Spinnaker Tower Pictured: Dave Aird

The previous record was 65 and will also be broken in 2022 with 70 days already booked.

In addition, the eight maiden calls in the city – including those from TUI’s Marella and Marella Explorer 2, Golden Horizon and Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady – are the largest number in a single year.

In July, Saga’s Spirit of Adventure was christened in the harbor for the first time. The following month it managed three cruise lines at the same time.

Mike Sellers, Director of Portsmouth International Port, was taken aboard the Venus of Viking on May 10, 2021, showing the new berth for cruise ships.

“The port is fast becoming the first choice for the luxury cruise market,” the report said. “The terminal renovation will create the conditions for this market and create and increase jobs” [its] economic contribution. ‘

After Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Councilor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the industry was “critical” to the city.

“It is refreshing to say that this year has been very successful for the port and puts it in an excellent position for further growth,” he said. “The numbers that we have seen from independent experts are enormous and so are the benefits for the city.”

He added that each turnaround of cruise lines in the city through a combination of direct and indirect effects is worth about £ 1.5 million.

Council Chairman Gerald Vernon-Jackson in front of the Scarlet Lady cruise ship in Portsmouth International Port Picture: Habibur Rahman

Cabinet members also supported plans to increase the provision of shore power in the port for both cruise lines and ferries. Noble Caledonian has already agreed to upgrade their ships for compatibility.

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