Portsmouth braced to welcome Virgin Voyage's massive luxury liner Scarlet Lady this month
A GIANT new luxury cruise ship is set to make its maiden voyage into Portsmouth in a matter of days.
Virgin Voyage’s Scarlet Lady will be the largest ship to have ever docked in Portsmouth – bigger than both of the navy’s 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers.
The massive 110,000-tonne liner is earmarked to cruise into the city on the morning of Monday, June 21.
At 277 metres and with space for 3,000 passengers, Scarlet Lady’s voyage into Portsmouth will mark a milestone moment in the city’s ambition to bounce back following the financial hit of the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, has previously said it could pump millions of pounds into the island’s economy.
‘People will start and end their cruises here which means people will be getting on and off so when people disembark from their cruise they will visit the city,’ he said.
‘It means potentially lots of jobs with it possibly worth £1m to the city each time there is a cruise turnaround here, which is what they say Southampton earns each time.
‘It is interesting why they chose Portsmouth and not Southampton. We are working hard to make the city an attractive location. There is lots to do in the city and we have great transport links.
‘We are in talks with lots of other cruise firms too so hopefully there will be more.’
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The no-expense spared ship will also have styling from renowned designer Tom Dixon to ensure she dazzles in and out of Portsmouth.
For three weeks from August 6, Scarlet Lady will be operating at reduced capacity to make at least six sailings of either three or four nights around England.
Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director, said the luxury liner’s visit was ‘fantastic news for the city and the wider travel industry.
‘It will be a spectacle like no other as the distinctive Scarlet Lady sails through the spectacular harbour entrance, we can be sure sailors and crew will experience a warm Portsmouth reception,’ he added.
‘It is a huge opportunity for the city to be Scarlet Lady’s home port for the summer and we are thrilled to work with global brand Virgin Voyages on their showcase sailings.
‘The future won’t wait, and we are confident that following the government’s announcement domestic cruising can take place there is an appetite to explore once more.’
Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, said: ‘Virgin Voyages has been looking forward to sailing, and we’re so excited to announce our plans to sail from the UK.
‘Our team has curated such a fantastic experience for our sailors and know this is a holiday they will love.’