How your luggage gets on board

//How your luggage gets on board

luggage.jpgLiving just 45 minutes away from the port of Southampton, I have grown accustomed to the ease of beginning a cruise from the UK’s busiest passenger port. After a drive down the M3, I take my suitcases from the boot and while a porter whisks them away on a trolley, another man parks my car, leaving me free to check in and go aboard.
There’s more to turning ships around than processing passengers, however, as I realise each time I return from a cruise and take a moment to stand on my cabin balcony and look down at the fork-lift trucks marshalling on the quayside.
So I was fascinated by a behind-the-scenes look at the process published by this week.
It explains that baggage handlers and provisions specialists such as Solent Stevedores have to handle as many as 6,000 pieces of luggage per vessel, and move nearly 75,000 tons of stores onto 220 cruise ships a year at Southampton’s four terminals – usually within a tight time frame of 12 hours or even less.
While luggage is being loaded at the rate of 1,200 bags an hour, there’s groceries, beer, wine, paint, chairs, and engine room parts at the dockside ready to go: large items are lifted to the top of the ship by towering cranes that glide on a rail track. Forklift trucks constantly move pallets to the stores entrance in the side of a ship’s hull.
Solent Stevedores General Manager Ian Jacobs says: “We take great pride in ensuring that moving goods and customer luggage is carried out in as little time as possible; the crew onboard have a lot to organize between shoring up and making passengers feel comfortable on board, so it’s imperative our team get the job done without any hitches and ahead of schedule.”
To follow the journey of a piece of luggage from quayside to a cabin on P&O’s Adonia, take a look at the gallery of pictures on CruiseSouthampton’s Facebook page.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:58+00:00 11 November 2011|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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