Portsmouth scents cruise victory

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Not long now before the new cruise terminal opens for business at Portsmouth, part of a £16.5 million investment intended to poach some lucrative business from near-neighbour – and deadly rival – Southampton.
The first passengers to use the new building – across the harbour from Nelson’s HMS Victory – will have come a long way to do so; the classic ship MV Athena arrives on April 14 after a 39-night voyage from Fremantle in Western Australia.
I hope they’re not too sweaty after their journey, or they might upset Lord Sterling, who last year voiced his concern that passengers boarding the ships of his All Leisure Group would have to rub shoulders with lorry drivers and students queuing for cross-Channel ferries.
He was reported as saying “We want to create a certain atmosphere, a five-star setting, as soon as people arrive to travel. I am concerned our customers, who are expecting that, will instead be asked to mix with lorry drivers, who in the summer suffer from BO, wear shorts and no shirt and in some cases won’t have shaved for days.”
He added: ”There will also be young people, looking to travel as cheaply as possible as foot passengers, lolling around.”
As upsetting as his comments may have been in some quarters, coverage of them did at least put the new terminal on the map – and he his ships will still be using the new facilities.
Voyages of Discovery’s MV Discovery makes four calls this year, Swan Hellenic’s Minerva five, and even Hebridean Princess will be venturing south from Scottish waters to call at Portsmouth twice in August and September.
Other cruise ships among the 33 port calls this year include Island Sky, Silversea’s Prince Albert II, the National Geographic Explorer, Christopher Columbus, Princess Daphne, Hurtigruten’s Fram, and Fred Olsen’s Boudicca.
Destinations on the itineraries from Portsmouth include the ports as far apart as St Petersburg and Casablanca, with cruises departing for the Baltic and North Africa.
Port manager Martin Putnam said:”We are proud to attract more cruise ships to Portsmouth and know the whole city benefits from our continued success.”

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:09+00:00 14 March 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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