The UK port of Portsmouth played host to its longest ship on 26th May when the ‘Mein Schiff 3’ berthed at the International Port.
Measuring 293.3 m in length and of 99,536 gt, the TUI operated cruise ship had 2,400 mainly German speaking passengers on board.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s Director, said: “We’ve seen many major milestones in our ambitions to grow the reputation of Portsmouth International Port and this TUI call marks another.
“The investment in extending our berth to accommodate larger vessels through to promoting the city’s reputation as a destination has seen cruise activity grow year on year.
“We outlined in our master plan where we want to be in the future, with a focus on sustainable innovation and working with partners who share our vision.
“It’s fantastic to see real evidence of our plans taking shape and with more positive news to share over the coming months shows Portsmouth’s position as a leading marine and maritime city,” he said.
A new pilotage service was also launched at the end of last month, which means the port has a dedicated service to ensure pilots are able get on board ships and navigate vessels safely.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the port, added: “(Today’s) arrival is hugely positive for the city and another step forward in Portsmouth’s plans to become a world class destination for cruise.
“With the multi-million carbon neutral terminal extension due to open this summer means we’re offering bespoke facilities for our visitors to the port and the wider city.
“As a council owned port, its success has an impact on the contribution to essential services, so achievements like today’s impressive cruise call has wide-ranging benefits for the whole city, with each visit estimated to bring £1.5 mill in the local economy,” he said.
Andrew Williamson, Portsmouth International Port’s Passenger Operations Manager, said: “We’ve been working hard over the last few years listening to the industry and creating facilities that are required to become a leading cruise port, which meets our focus on the small to medium sized, boutique, luxury, expedition market.
“Investing in our infrastructure has been essential and we’re now in a position where we can accommodate larger vessels in the bracket of 300 m on our primary berth, in addition we can look after smaller vessels on multiple berths.
“Portsmouth lends itself effortlessly to the cruise market, from world-class attractions, to a major sheltered harbour close to the main shipping channels, making the city an appealing option for lines.
“Our highly anticipated terminal extension is due to open this summer and we’re excited for the profile this will bring. Our approach is to set the bar high for passengers from the start of their adventure,” he said.
Portsmouth is expecting 75 cruise ship calls this year, the port added.