New member: Portsmouth
With its harbour on the UK’s south coast, Portsmouth International Port provides a historic arrival and departure for passengers.
Known as the Great Waterfront City, Portsmouth has been building a discerning reputation as a turnaround or transit port, providing world-class attractions and welcoming back established cruise companies.
It is now setting its sights on becoming a major player in the cruise industry, with developments for the expansion of facilities underway.
Some £19 million (€22.6 million) is being invested in transforming the terminal building in order to cater for an increase in passengers and also in extending the existing cruise berth to handle ships up to 255m in length.
“This significant investment, driven by customers’ needs, will contribute towards cementing Portsmouth’s position as the UK’s leading marine and maritime city,” comments Rachel McMinn, marketing and communications manager, Portsmouth International Port.
This year welcomes a record number of visits, including a maiden call for Hurtigruten’s hybrid-electric ship, Fridtjof Nansen.
Sustainability is central to the port’s transformation, with an aim to become one of the UK’s first zero-emission ports. “We already boast the country’s most environmentally-advanced port terminals, with the marine location lending a hand to provide green energy. Seawater helps to flush the toilets, wind-captures cool and heat the building and there is also LED lighting throughout,” explains McMinn.
The next steps involve becoming shorepower ready, installing wind turbines across the site to generate energy, and using the most advanced air quality monitoring technology to regularly assess performance.
As the UK’s only island city, home to great sailing, the Royal Navy and with a rich maritime heritage, Portsmouth has always had a love affair with the sea. Attractions include the Historic Dockyard, HMS Victory and the new-look Mary Rose Tudor experience. Alongside Henry VIII’s flagship vessel, the city is also home to his seafront bolt-hole, Southsea Castle.
The city is 96km from London. Heathrow and Gatwick are about 80 minutes and Southampton airport is 23 minutes (37km) by car from the port.
Portsmouth’s connectivity also stretches to the sea, being 60 minutes from the main English Channel shipping route and ideally placed for cruises heading south and east.