UK's Port Southampton marks record cruise season start with 71 calls in May

   June 21, 2024 ,   Cruise Industry

Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Southampton set a record in May by welcoming an unprecedented number of cruise vessels, marking a strong start to the 2024 summer cruise season.

In May, the port accommodated 26 different cruise ships, making a total of 71 calls, both turnaround and transit, and hosting 400,000+ guests.

~1 million cruise passengers have passed through the port so far in 2024.

This achievement is supported by ongoing investments in dedicated infrastructure, the extensive experience of the port’s operations, and robust partnerships with cruise lines, ground handling operators, stevedores, and security teams. Notably, there has been an increase in the use of shore power at the Port of Southampton, with 20% of cruise visits in May utilizing this facility. This allows ships to switch off their engines and achieve zero emissions while docked.

The influx of cruise ships is a significant boon for the local and regional economy, supporting thousands of jobs and businesses and attracting tourists to Southampton and its surrounding areas. In 2023, the port welcomed 2.75 million passengers, generating over GBP 1 billion for the economy. The trend in 2024 suggests an increase in these economic benefits.

ABP Southampton, in partnership with GO! Southampton, launched the Welcome Volunteer Programme. This initiative involves volunteers with local knowledge who assist transit passengers by providing information about the city and its attractions. The Welcome Volunteers, stationed at the cruise terminals, play a crucial role in enhancing the passenger experience and adding value to their visit to Southampton.