Cruise operator extends contract with Portsmouth

Minerva will sail from Portsmouth in April
Minerva will sail from Portsmouth in April
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A British cruise ship operator, has signed a new three-year agreement with Portsmouth International Port.

All Leisure Holidays (ALH) will extend a relationship that started in 2011 to at least 2018.

The group owns three well-known companies – Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises.

During the past five years ships from each company have visited Portsmouth International Port, a decision based on what it regards as excellent transport connections, location and investment in new facilities.

The three-year deal with ALH starts this month and is a vote of confidence in the high levels of service offered at the port.

Rupert Taylor, the harbour master at Portsmouth International Port said: ‘I’m delighted that ALH has extended its relationship with Portsmouth International Port for another three years.

‘The first agreement started in 2011, the same year we opened our modern cruise terminal and a key reason it chose to base ships with us for the summer season.

‘Since then we have helped ALH send thousands of passengers off on holidays of a lifetime from Portsmouth International Port and look forward to watching that number grow over the coming years.’

For the past five years Swan Hellenic’s Minerva has been based at Portsmouth for cruises in Northern Europe, the Baltic and Scandinavia.

Minerva begins the 2016 cruise season on April 15 sailing from Portsmouth to Rouen and then down to Bordeaux.

Passengers will explore three French rivers 
– the Loire, the Seine and 
the Garonne on the two-week trip.

Throughout the summer Minerva offers cruises to the Baltic, Iceland, the Norwegian fjords, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Portugal and Spain.

Stuart Horne, All Leisure Holidays’ director of fleet operations, said: ‘Our cruise brands have always had fantastic service from Portsmouth International Port and we look forward to continuing this relationship.

‘Portsmouth is a fantastic base from which we will be offering 11 cruise departures with Voyager and Minerva during 2016 to some incredible destinations such as Iceland, the White Sea and the Gulf of Bothnia.’

The Portsmouth cruise team is renowned for offering a bespoke and flexible service to a wide range of visiting cruise vessels, with a growing reputation for handling smaller luxury ships.