The Golden Horizon, a five-mast, iron-hulled cruise liner will be arriving in Portsmouth in June to kick-off her UK tour before she ventures to the Far East.
The impressive vessel, run by Tradewind Voyages, is a staggering 525ft long, with a width of around 61ft and is expected to accommodate up to 272 when she sets sail from the city.
She will arrive in Portsmouth on June 22 – a day after all coronavirus lockdown measures in England are expected to be lifted.
News of her arrival comes as the city last week scored a key win in its ambition to become the new cruise capital of the south coast, with Virgin Voyages announcing it would bring giant new luxury liner to Portsmouth in August – in a move civic chiefs hope could bring millions of pound to the island.
The 908ft vessel will be capable of transporting up to 3,000 passengers and will be the largest commercial ship to berth in Portsmouth.
Councillor Steve Pitt, Portsmouth’s culture boss and deputy leader at the city council, hailed the latest luxury offering as a huge vote of confidence in the island’s credentials as a must-see destination.
‘This is incredibly welcome news and shows the international port in Portsmouth is regarded as a desirable destination by some very, very significant operators,’ he said.
Golden Horizon features two swimming pools and one 'deep dive' pool, a spa with a sauna, snow room and jacuzzi, as well as a beauty salon, sun deck, main dining hall and informal bar.
News of the luxury liner’s visit has delighted tourism operators locally, who have struggled to make ends meet during the past year.
Mike Critchley, who runs Gosport-based Maritime Heritage Tours Ltd, is offering people the chance to visit the stunning tall ship.
The retired naval officer added the vessel’s trip to Portsmouth would be a welcome sight following a nightmare year for the tourism trade.
He said: ‘2020 has been near disastrous for us, like many other travel companies, as we have cancelled many holidays and delayed others.
‘All eyes will be out for her Portsmouth arrival. A five masted barque – a near copy of a vessel built in 1913 named France II.’
Cllr Pitt praised Portsmouth International Port’s boss, Mike Sellers, and his team for their work in bringing more cruise ships to the city.
He added: ‘We have got some amazing visitor attractions here. We know that pre-Covid we were drawing nine million visitors to the city – there’s a reason for that: Portsmouth’s a great place to visit.
‘If we can capitalise on this via the cruise market as well, then that’s all extra pounds being spent in local businesses, benefiting the people.’
Golden Horizon’s cruise will see it visiting Harwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool before she heads off to the Far East at the end of August.
To book a cabin, visit www.maritimeheritagetours.co.uk