UK ports group, Associated British Ports (ABP), is expecting a busy cruise year, with several new ships and maiden calls, as well as the launch of the UK’s first shore power facility for cruise ships, the group said.
ABP Cruise is set to welcome over 2 mill passengers during 2022. In addition, Southampton will see a shore power facility commissioned, with zero emissions at berth for ships fitted with on board connectivity.
Seven cruise ships will make their maiden calls to Southampton this year, including five new cruise ships: AIDA Cruises’ ‘AIDACosma’ and Norwegian Cruise Line’s ‘Norwegian Prima’, both fitted with shore power connectivity; P&O Cruises’ ‘Arvia’, powered with LNG; Celebrity Cruises’ ‘Celebrity Beyond’, the third ship in the Edge Series, plus Princess Cruises’ Royal class ‘Enchanted Princess’.
The port will also host SilverSea Cruises’ ‘Silver Moon’ and Azamara Cruises will make its Southampton debut with ‘Azamara Onward’. There are calls planned from port regulars, such as Cunard’s three queens, ‘MSC Virtuosa’, Royal Caribbean’s ‘Anthem of the Seas’ and Celebrity Cruises’ ‘Celebrity Silhouette’.
Elsewhere, ABP’s Plymouth port will see the return of ‘Disney Magic’ in September and will also welcome ‘The World’, ‘Seabourn Ovation’, ‘Albatros’, ‘Amadea’ and ‘Nieuw Rotterdam’, this year.
The ‘Hebridean Princess’ returns to Cardiff in August following a series of turnaround cruises in 2021. Hull will welcome German cruise line Phoenix Reisen for the first time, with ‘Amadea’ making her maiden call in June. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will sail from Plymouth and Southampton and Noble Caledonia will also run itineraries from Plymouth.
Last year, the Port of Southampton saw 773 cruise days, alongside with 239 passenger operations, while ABP’s Wales and shortsea ports enjoyed an overall increase in cruise calls from 2019 levels.
Rebekah Keeler, ABP Head of Cruise, said: “ABP Cruise’s ports and destinations offer something for everyone and bring economic value across the UK, so we are thrilled to see such a comprehensive programme for 2022.
“ABP continues to invest in its cruise infrastructure, including Southampton’s shore power, LNG bunkering, solar energy, the new Horizon Cruise Terminal and air bridges. As an industry, everyone has come together to navigate challenges and adapt to new ways of working. Together we will continue to meet evolving requirements and create excellent guest experiences, ensuring we welcome new and returning passengers through the year,” she concluded.