Anniversary sees port cruising to a new milestone

DESTINATION Cruise ships like Minerva, pictured, are flocking to Portsmouth
DESTINATION Cruise ships like Minerva, pictured, are flocking to Portsmouth
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PORTSMOUTH International Port is celebrating the anniversary of its new terminal opening with its busiest cruise month on record.

In the next four weeks there will be 18 visiting liners using the new £16.5m port.

Last May the terminal was officially opened by Vince Cable, government business secretary.

It was built to give better services to passengers getting on and off cruise liners, as well as ferry passengers.

Martin Putman, port manager, said: ‘We have invested heavily in new passenger facilities over the last few years, and one result is a growth in our cruise business.

‘Ninety per cent of cruise ships calling at Portsmouth this year are repeat callers, satisfied companies coming back for more.

‘With an extension to one of our berths we now have more flexibility too, so a greater range of ships can dock allowing more passengers to enjoy the benefits of using our historic port.’

On Friday, May 11 two cruise ships will dock at the port on the same day, signalling the real start of the summer season.

Discovery, operated by Voyages of Discovery, and MS Island Sky, operated by Noble Caledonian, will both be starting and ending their cruises from Portsmouth until the autumn.

Their owner, the All Leisure Group, has a five-year contract to base three vessels at the Port.

Later in the month Island Sky’s sister ship, the Caledonian Sky, will also arrive for its first visit.

Staff from the port this week took part in the Association of Cruising Experts Convention in Southampton.