A SPECIAL arrival is due into Portsmouth harbour tomorrow – and she’s expected to draw nearly 2,000 people into the city.
She is the newly refurbished cruise ship MV Voyager, heading to a berth at Portsmouth International Port for her renaming ceremony.
Part of the Voyages of Discovery fleet, the 540-passenger vessel will arrive with a completely new look.
More than 1,500 prospective customers are expected to take tours of the Voyager across a three-day period, starting from tomorrow.
Those visiting during the weekend will also get the chance to see what Portsmouth has to offer, with an exhibition in the terminal building featuring many of the city’s famous attractions.
Passengers for Voyager’s sold-out first voyage after the refit will arrive on Tuesday, after the naming celebrations.
Reverend Phillip Hiscock, the Chaplain for the Port of Portsmouth, will lead the ceremony.
The ship will then set off for the start of a 147-day grand voyage that takes her around the Caribbean and South America before heading back to Portsmouth at the end of April.
Her newly-appointed godmother, the TV naturalist Miranda Krestovnikoff, will officially name Voyager.
Martin Putman, port manager at Portsmouth International Port, said: ‘We are delighted to host MV Voyager’s naming ceremony.
‘It will be wonderful to welcome her, the passengers, and hundreds of potential customers to the Port over a four-day period.
‘We’re looking forward to showing them just what a wonderful time they can have by adding a day or two to their holiday and visiting some of Portsmouth’s excellent attractions.’
The visit comes after The News reported last week that the port is set to experience its most successful year in 2013, with record numbers of cruise ship visits.
Next year there will be 50 cruise ship visits, an increase of 43 per cent on 2012,.
That is thanks to work to build a new terminal building for passengers, extend a berth so bigger ships can dock, and dredging the harbour so it can take larger ships.