PORTSMOUTH International Port has played host to a cruise industry exposition for the first time.
Cruise companies, travel agents and representatives from hotels and Portsmouth City Council got together in the port’s new terminal yesterday.
Visitors to the expo were given a tour of the Minerva, the Swan Hellenic cruise ship which is making Portsmouth her home port for the next five years.
They were also taken around the historic dockyard and up the Spinnaker Tower to show what the city has to offer for passengers who may want to stay a few extra days in Portsmouth before or after their cruise.
It was organised by Ace, the Association of Cruise Experts, which runs similar events in cruise ports up and down the country.
Natalie Budgen, membership services executive for Ace, said: ‘I’m really excited to be in Portsmouth for the first time.
‘It’s great to see the cruise market is growing so much out of Portsmouth that the All Leisure cruise group have made it their home port, and with this fantastic new terminal it’s really great.’
Swan Hellenic managing director Colin Stone said it was the port’s road and rail connections, as well as its proximity to Southampton Airport and the investment in the new terminal, that ticked the boxes for the cruise service to be based in the city.
He added: ‘It opens up a wider part of the country which we know our customers are closely linked with.’
Rupert Taylor, the port’s harbour master, added: ‘This year is our busiest year for cruises, with 32.
‘This expo is a fantastic way to show them what their passengers can expect.’