Record breaking number of passengers depart from Southampton

When it comes to cruising, many of the world’s largest lines make the decision to operate sailings out of Southampton. The port is fully equipped to handle some of the world’s largest and most contemporary vessels, while its location offers a link to some of the most renowned destinations in Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic.

Lines including P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Cunard, MSC Cruises and Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines all operate selected vessels out of Southampton. Newly-built vessels including Harmony of the Seas, Norwegian Escape and Ovation of the Seas have all called into Southampton in recent years. It is thought that each ship that arrives into the port of Southampton brings with it a £2 million boost to the local economy.

Norwegian Escape

Across all ships that came to Southampton, there was a total of 500 ships calls which, in turn, attracted a record-breaking total of two million cruise passengers. Many holiday-makers travel from around the country and beyond, utilising hotel facilities, restaurants and supporting the local infrastructure. Those arriving into the port for a day visit will likely spend money within the city, whether it be in the many retail outlets or exploring a local attraction. With a growing number of ships set to arrive in Southampton in 2018, this record is already set to be broken.

The busiest weekend of the year in 2017 came in June when a total of 15 cruise ships docked in Southampton. The port is also set to brace itself for another bumper period on 31st August 2018, with a total of six ships including Arcadia, Aurora, Braemar, Independence of the Seas, Mein Schiff 3 and Queen Victoria all set to arrive in British shores. In addition to these, the likes of Aida Perla, Norwegian Bliss, MSC Meraviglia, Sapphire Princess, MS Zuiderdam, Seven Seas Navigator and MS Koningsdam are all set to dock in Southampton throughout 2018.


Southampton will also mark the arrival of a brand new vessel in 2018, with the arrival of Azamara Club Cruises’ third ship, Azamara Pursuit, set to receive an inaugural christening ceremony. This is the first time the line has ever conducted such a ceremony for one of its ships, which is believed to have come as a result of the surge in popularity for the new ship. The new ship currently sails as Adonia under P&O Cruises and has a huge following, so it comes as no surprise that many holiday-makers want to be able to continue their holidays aboard this renowned vessel. The ship will make her arrival into Southampton on 28th August 2018.

Alistair Welch, Southampton Director of Ports Operator ABP, told Travel Weekly: “2017 was a record-breaking year for the Port of Southampton and 2018 looks set to be even busier. A huge amount of work goes into ensuring all passengers transit our facilities with the greatest of ease and it is testament to our whole port community that two million cruise passengers receive Southampton’s world-class service.”

Cruising is more popular than ever before and while many of the world’s renowned lines operate ships out of Southampton, they also operate them out of more than 15 ports around the UK and Ireland. This has long been one of the most accessible and great-value options for families and only now are holiday-makers beginning realise the appeal in embarking on a cruise.

If you love cruising and want to be a part of the exciting and fast-growing industry, why not get in touch? Contact us via the number above or complete an Online Enquiry Form.

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