The reopening of the port’s largest terminal coincided with a visit by P&O Cruises’ Azura at the beginning of a busy cruise season.
Phase one has included infrastructure upgrades on the quayside with 18 new 150 tonne bollards replacing the old 50 tonne bollards. The inside of the terminal has also been significantly improved ready to accommodate an increase in passenger capacity.
Preparing for the arrival of LNG-powered Iona
This £12 million partnership project with P&O Cruises began in October last year in readiness for May 2020 when Iona, will arrive in Southampton from Meyer Werft shipyard.
The project will complete in early 2020 with the installation of two new airbridges and a further 2,000 roof-mounted solar panels.
Powered by LNG, Iona will homeport in Southampton, and is the first of two new ships of the XL class for P&O Cruises, with the next ship on order to be delivered in 2022.
Alastair Welch, director at the Port of Southampton, said: ‘Cruise is a growing industry and we continue to make these significant investments which are crucial to ensuring we are in a good position to welcome the larger ships and the increase in passenger numbers.’
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘Azura is be the first ship to berth at the newly renovated Ocean Cruise Terminal, which, when all the work is complete, will give our guests a much smoother, faster and more efficient boarding experience and will also prepare us for the arrival of our two LNG-powered ships.’
The Port of Southampton currently welcomes over 2m passengers each year.