PORTSMOUTH International Port’s busiest week in its cruise ship history has been made easier thanks to a newly-extended berth.
The project to lengthen Berth Two, which is used by both cruise ships and super ferries, took four months to complete.
It was extended by nearly 50 metres and will improve flexibility at the Port, allowing for a greater number of larger ships to be docked at any one time.
Until now the largest vessel able to use the Cruise and Ferry Port has been 210 metres long.
The Berth 2 extension will now increase the Port’s ability to accept even larger vessels.
The first ship to use the new facility was the MS Marco Polo.
A first-time visitor to the Port, she arrived with 748 passengers, 650 of whom visited the city for the day.
This was followed by the busiest cruise week in the port’s history, with a total of eight cruise ships calling at the port in a seven-day period.
During the week another new high-profile visitor came to the Port.
The MS Columbus 2, Hapag-Lloyd’s new luxury cruise ship, called as part of a two-week tour.
After a day in the city she left for Hamburg with nearly 600 passengers on-board.
Martin Putman, port manager, said the extension will spell further successes for the port.
He added: ‘The extension to Berth Two has already proved its worth, demonstrating the added flexibility we need to attract customers in a competitive market.
‘To successfully handle eight cruise ships in a week, alongside our busy ferry and cargo operations, shows that we can continue to grow our business in Portsmouth.
‘In turn this will benefit the city through jobs and the revenue that comes from visiting cruise ships and their passengers.’