Port Southampton is UK's largest passenger (ferry and cruise) port and 2nd largest cargo port (following Felixstowe). Its first dock was opened in 1843. Most of its operations back then were regular Transatlantic crossings between UK and USA. Since 1982, the port is owned and operated by ABP (Associated British Ports). Southampton is the UK's largest cruise terminal and the UK's second largest container port.
Southampton is ranked UK's largest export port, handling annually over GBP 40 billion of exports. The worth of its total trade is around GBP 75 billion. Southampton is also UK's largest port for automotive exports and home to UK's second largest container terminal (after Felixstowe) handling annually around 1 million TEUs (containers).
Southampton is also ranked UK's largest cruise port, with over 500 ship calls annually, bringing over 2 million passengers. As ferry port, Southampton serves around 3 million ferry passengers to and from Isle of Wight.
In the period 2012-2017, in port development projects were invested over GBP 280 million, including over GBP 50 million in new vehicle export facilities.
- On November 2, 2017, Port Southampton officially inaugurated the Pacific Terminal (vehicle export terminal) that serves UK car manufacturers. The new facility has parking capacity 3400 spaces and is part of ABP's GBP 50 million investment plan for the port. Southampton is UK's main vehicle handling port, with 9 shipping lines making every month 110 visits to 52 ports in 40 different countries.
- In 2017, the port handled some of the world's largest container ships - MOL Triumph and MOL Trust (each with TEU capacity 20170 containers). The largest ever to visit the port boxship so far - Milan Maersk (20568 TEUs) - docked here on November 7, 2017. The Triple-E class vessel has LOA length 399 m (1309 ft), width 59 m (194 ft), above waterline height 60 m (197 ft).
Port's sheltered inland location and also Isle of Wight (in the English Channel) protect it from the effects of bad weather. Additional advantages are the close proximity to London City and the excellent rail / road infrastructure linking to the rest of England and bypassing the capital city's congestion.
Southampton cruise port
Port Southampton, along with its 5 cruise terminals also has passenger ferry terminals, container terminal and drydock facilities for marine vessel refurbishments and repairs. Other major turnaround (cruise ship departure) ports in the UK are the England's Bristol, Dover, Harwich, Hull, Liverpool, Tilbury (London), Newcastle and Portsmouth, and the Scotland's Leith (Edinburgh) and Greenock (Glasgow).
- In 2018, the port had scheduled 8 maiden calls (new ships visiting for the first time) - AIDAperla , Norwegian Bliss, MSC Meraviglia, Sapphire Princess; MS Zuiderdam, Seven Seas Navigator, and MS Koningsdam. In 2018, here was held the naming ceremony for the former P&O Adonia ship - now Azamara Pursuit (August 28), followed by a 2-night Cruise to Nowhere.
- Based on the Southampton cruise schedule 2018, the port's bussiest day was August 31 - a 6 ship day with booked for berthing here Arcadia (P&O), Aurora (P&O), Braemar (Fred Olsen), Independence of the Seas (Royal Caribbean), Mein Schiff 3 (TUI) and Queen Victoria (Cunard).
- For season 2018, MSC Cruises scheduled an extended itinerary program with more regular departures from the UK. The company intends to deploy here one of its newer (bigger) ships.
- For 2017, the cruise port reported a record-breaking year with over 2 million cruise passengers. It is estimated that every visiting cruise ship brings around GBP 2 million to the city's economy. In 2017 the port received over 500 passenger ship calls. The busiest long weekend (15 cruise ships) was in June.
- In June 2016, the 3 NCLH (abbrev "Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings") owned companies - Oceania, Regent and NCL Norwegian - were consolidated / headquartered together in a building previously used by Carnival UK. The move came ahead of NCL returning to UK port departure cruises in 2017 (for the first time since 2010) with the ship Norwegian Jade leaving roundtrip from Southampton. NCLH's new UK company address is: "Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, 4th Floor, Mountbatten House, Grosvenor Square, Southampton, SO15 2JU".
- On May 21, 2016, Royal Caribbean International (RCI) and the Southampton port authority ABP (Associated British Ports) signed a GBP 5,5 million deal. It secures City Cruise Terminal (Berth 101) as the Royal Caribbean's official UK cruise departure port for the period 2016-2023. The Southampton cruise port's contribution to the UK economy is 15,000 cruise ship related jobs and over GBP 1 billion economic impact.
- On April 11, 2016, the new Royal Caribbean ship Ovation of the Seas arrived and docked at Berth 101 (City Cruise Terminal, Western Docks). The ship stayed for a few days in Southampton before the repositioning cruise (53-days "Global Odyssey" itinerary) ending in port Tianjin-Beijing China.
- On April 20, 2015, the new Royal Caribbean ship Anthem of the Seas was officially named in Southampton. The christening ceremony was led by the godmother Emma Wilby (British travel agent).
- On May 3, 2015, the Cunard Line's 175th Anniversary Celebrations were held in the Southampton port. The special event was attended by all three Cunard liners - Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. The three ships left the port together on their scheduled itineraries, en-route to, respectively, NYC New York, Hamburg and Guernsey (Channel Islands).
- In the end of March 2014, Royal Caribbean (RCI) announced the Explorer of the Seas will be deployed in Europe and homeported in Southampton during summer 2015 season (April through September). The list of round-trip itineraries included 3- and 8-night Baltic Sea, 11- to 16-night Mediterranean and 10- to 14-night Madeira, Canary Islands and Azores.
- (statistics 2013) the port was used by around 1,7 million cruise passengers.
- (statistics 2011) the cruise port was used as departure port by almost 1,5 million passengers. This was an 11% increase over 2010. Each ship call in Southampton generates an economic impact of about GBP 2,5 million to the local area.
Cruise itineraries to and from Southampton England
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Southampton:
- World Cruises - around the world voyages from Southampton include either westbound Transatlantic crossings (with Panama Canal transition or around South America routes) or eastbound (with Suez Canal transition or around Africa routes). Depending on direction, smaller itinerary segments end up in USA ports (New York, Miami, San Francisco), Asia ports (Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong), Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle-Perth) or even New Zealand (Auckland).
- Iceland and Greenland are often visited on itineraries around Britain (themed "British Isles") visiting ports in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
- Baltic Sea itineraries visit Norway (Norwegian Fjords), the European Arctic (North Pole), Scandinavia and Russia (St Petersburg / overnight stays).
- Mini Cruises from UK (to Belgium, France, Holland) are generally booked as "shopping" or "short-break" vacations. Most of these deals (with regularly scheduled departures) are offered by the P&O Ferries company. Several times a year, the Cunard's QM2 liner offers 2-day cruises to Hamburg Germany.
- Iberia (cruises to Portugal and Spain) visit ports on the Europe's Atlantic Coast, and are often combined with Gibraltar.
- The Canaries itineraries (to Canary Islands) are usually combined with Madeira Island (Port Funchal).
- Mediterranean Sea - Western Med itineraries (visiting Spain, France, Italy, Malta) are often combined with ports in North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, Tunis).
- Mediterranean Sea - Eastern Med itineraries visit ports in Greece (including Greek Islands), Turkey and Italy.
- Mediterranean Sea - Holy Land cruises (to Israel and Egypt) are usually combined with ports in Greece and Turkey.
- Black Sea cruises from Southampton are among the longest and visit Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia.
- Transatlantic cruises to USA (NYC) and Canada New England are operated regularly by Cunard (QM2). Transatlantic cruises to Caribbean - round-trip or one-way crossings (on ship relocation) are offered seasonally. Regular deals UK to Caribbean are offered by P&O with fly cruise packages that include flights from the UK to Barbados (ship departures from Bridgetown port).
- "Project Orient Limited” (POL) plans to build two ocean cruise liners for a regular passenger shipping service between Europe/UK and Australia (Southampton - Sydney). The scheduled itinerary will be 26 days in one direction (Southampton to Sydney, and the reverse Sydney to Southampton). The included ports of call are Fremantle (at the 20 day mark), also Dubai, Mumbai (India) and Singapore. Each of the STX France-built ships will be 200,000 GT tons and with capacity 1600 pax. The expected cruise pricing starts from around GBP 2900 per person (one-way).
- The list of UK cruise lines (with regular departures out of Southampton) includes Cunard, P&O UK, CMV (Cruise and Maritime Voyages), Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, AIDA, MSC, NCL Norwegian, Fred Olsen, Saga, Marella (Thomson).
Highlights: Maritime Museum, Medieval Walls
Southampton cruise terminal
Southampton cruise port is very easy to access. The city is located in the England’s south coast central part and has great road and rail links to the other major UK cities. The cruise ship port comprises two docks (Eastern and Western) with all 4 passenger terminals and 4 berths (docking locations).
(QE2) Queen Elizabeth II Cruise Terminal
- Location: Eastern Docks
- address: "ABP QEII Terminal 38/39 Test Road, Eastern Docks Southampton SO14 3GG"
- GPS coordinates - N 50°53′05.4″, W 01°23′44.9″
- Berth 38, Berth 39
- Dock gate - 4 (GPS N 50°53'47.2", W 1°23'55.1")
- The QE2 terminal is for Cunard ships only. Terminal facilities include short stay parking, bar, cafe, taxi rank.
- This is the famous dock from where RMS Titanic left on her maiden voyage in 1912. Big part of the Titanic tragic accident victims (nearly 500) were Southampton citizens.
- The home dock of the Cunard’s cruise liners (Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2) was open by HM The Queen in 1966.
- In 2015-2016, the port's "Cunard Terminal" was renovated at the cost of GBP 5 million. The renovation project was funded by Carnival Corporation and ABP (Associated British Ports) and carried out over 2 stages. Phase 1 (completed in spring 2016) included building infrastructure improvements (check-in area, baggage handling area, X-ray / security screening area), also installing a 46-person elevator and reorganising the drop-off passenger area. Phase 2 (completed in winter 2016) included installation of a new ship-to-shore walkway.
Ocean Cruise Terminal
- Location: Eastern Docks
- address - "Cunard Road, Eastern Docks, Southampton SO14 3QN"
- GPS coordinates - N 50°53′29.6″, W 01°24′02.5″
- Berth 46
- Dock gate - 4 (GPS N 50°53'47.2", W 1°23'55.1")
- The Ocean Terminal was finished in 2009. It features a modern design (Art-Deco) building, short stay parking, bar, cafe, taxi rank.
City Cruise Terminal
- Location: Western Docks
- address - "Solent Road, Western Docks, Southampton SO15 1HJ"
- GPS coordinates - N 50°54′00.6″, W 01°24′51.8″
- Berth 101
- Dock gate - 8 (GPS N 50°53′58.1″, W 01°24′40″) or 10 (GPS N 50°54′14.8″, W 01°25′02.8″)
- At the City Terminal can dock even the world's largest passenger ships. Dock facilities include short stay parking, bar, cafe, taxi rank. Located nearby is the Mayflower Park - a great vantage point to watch the departing ships.
- The capacity of this terminal has been doubled with a 7-year refurbishment project.
- City Cruise Terminal (Berth 101) is Royal Caribbean's official UK homeport / departure port. The list of terminal's improvements made by the corporation includes new paperless check-in operations, faster kerb-to-gangway processing, new security screening areas, step-free-access to larger RCI ships (up to Quantum-Class), free Wi-Fi (throughout the cruise terminal), digital signage (wayfinders), new air-conditioning, improved logistics.
Mayflower Cruise Terminal
- Location: Western Docks
- address - "Herbert Walker Ave, Western Docks, Southampton SO15 1HJ"
- GPS coordinates - N 50°54′18.6″, W 01°25′45.8″
- Berth 106
- Dock gate - 10 (GPS N 50°54′14.8″, W 01°25′02.8″) or 20 (GPS N 50°54′48.2″, W 01°27′39.4″)
- The Mayflower Terminal is generally associated with the P&O Cruises ships. Its facilities include taxi rank, bar, cafe, an art gallery.
A new cruise ship dock was opened on April 28, 2015 (Berth 104 / Dock Gate 10). The Mayflower terminal's redevelopment project cost around GBP 6 million and resulted in increased passenger capacity and berthin (allowing even the world's biggest cruise vessels to dock here).
- The terminal was inaugurated in 1960. The renovated facility is on a regular basis by RMS Queen Mary 2, as well as the P&O UK largest ships - Britannia and Ventura.
- In the terminal's refurbishment were engaged over 200 workers on the refurbishment. Works started in December 2014. After their completion, the Mayflower terminal has 36 check-in desks, larger cruise passenger lounge, more security search lanes, expanded passenger drop-off / pick-up areas (at the terminal's entrance).
Cruise ship terminals directions & parking
Port Southampton is accessible via the M27, some 80 ml / 130 km from London (~ 1:50 hours drive distance) and some 200 ml / 320 km from Norwich (~ 3:50 hours drive distance).
- (option 1) From North, East and London regions - drive on M3 southbound. Follow the Southampton signs. Merge onto M27, follow the M27 West signs. Leave M27 at Junction 3. At the roundabout take 1st exit (M271) toward Southampton Docks. At next (Redbridge) roundabout take 1st exit onto A3024 leading to a dual carriageway and heading into Southampton (assigned Dock Gate). This route brings you close to Dock Gate 20 and Dock Gate 10 (CITY CRUISE TERMINAL, MAYFLOWER CRUISE TERMINAL).
- (option 2) From North, East and London regions - From the end of M3 (junction 14) follow the A33 signs for Southampton Docks. This route brings close to EASTERN DOCKS (Dock Gate 4) where are located OCEAN CRUISE TERMINAL and QE2 CRUISE TERMINAL.
- From west regions - from the end of A31 Poole-Bournemouth follow road through New Forest. Join M27. Leave M27 at Junction 3. At the roundabout take 3rd exit (M271) toward Southampton Docks. At next (Redbridge) roundabout take 1st exit onto A3024 leading to a dual carriageway and heading into Southampton (assigned Dock Gate). This route brings you close to Dock Gate 20 and Dock Gate 10 (CITY CRUISE TERMINAL, MAYFLOWER CRUISE TERMINAL). For Eastern Docks stay on this road and follow the signs to Dock Gate 4 (OCEAN CRUISE TERMINAL, QE2 CRUISE TERMINAL).
Lost property / baggage enquiries
- P&O, Cunard and Princess cruise passengers should contact - for baggage enquiries (phone number 023 8087 3111) and for lost property (phone number 023 8065 6426).
- Azamara, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean passengers should contact for lost baggage/property - phone number 023 8068 2680.
- For other Southampton cruise lines please contact the line/company or your booking agent directly.
The Europe's largest cruise ship port Southampton has:
- port address - "Herbert Walker Avenue, Southampton SO15 1, United Kingdom"
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - GBSOU.
- four dedicated cruise terminals
- capability to accommodate more than 4 vessels at a time
- supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
- deep water channel
- deep water berths
- no restrictions on length and GT tonnage of cruise ships
- sheltered harbor area
- access unrestricted by tides. The port's average tidal range is ~5 ft (1,5 m) with 17 hrs per day of rising water. This allows even the largest cargo vessels and cruise ships to access the port for up to 80% of the time.
- The cruise port is accessible the whole year round - 24/7, 365 days a tear.
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Southampton in early morning (4:30, 5, 6, 6:30, 7:30 or 8 am) and depart from Southampton in late afternoon (4:30, 5, 6 pm) or in the evening (8, 9:30 or 10 pm).
- Port Southampton Vehicle Ferry Terminal 3 Quay has GPS coordinates N 50°53'44.2", W 1°24'22.4"
- Port Southampton Passenger Ferry Terminal 2 Quay has GPS coordinates N 50°53'39.6", W 1°24'19.4"
Follows the list of cruise ship management companies (agencies) serving the major lines:
- CARNIVAL UK serves Cunard, P&O and Princess ships.
- DENHOLM WILHELMSEN LTD serves AIDA, Fred Olsen, MSC, Saga and Thomson ships.
- INTERCRUISES serves Azamara, Celebrity and RCI ships.
Southampton tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Old Town: one of the most famous landmarks in Southampton it the old town northern entrance – “Bargate”. Visit the the Archaeological Museum, the Medieval Merchants House, the Tudor House, the Maritime Museum and the God’s House Tower remains.
- Shopping Centers: visit the Above Bar shopping center (the main one), the Ocean Village or the new West Quay mall.
- Theater: visit the popular Mayflower theater.
- Southampton City Art Gallery : Victorian art collection.
- Aviation Museum: explore RJ Mitchell’s WW2 Supermarine Spitfire pioneering work at the Solent Sky Aviation Museum.
- The Titanic Trail: start at Musician’s Memorial and end at the Maritime Museum. The museum is located at Town Quay in the Wool House. Explore the tragic faith of the famous ocean liner.
- The Jane Austen Walking Trail: the famous author was seven when she came to Southampton. She often spent her vacations in the city and much later she moved to Southampton.
- The New Forest: an area which will charm you with its commoner rights of pastures and its rocked wilderness.
Port Southampton cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Southampton, England. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
The Southampton cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Southampton, England.
If you lose the Southampton location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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