Thousands more cruisers could set sail from the port of Portsmouth when a GBP 18.7 million project woos major cruise ship operators.
Nearly 50,000 passengers on 50 ships are due to visit Portsmouth International Port this year but that could triple up to 150,000 in 3 years with an expansion.
According to Portsmouth council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the increased revenue from the expansion at the council-owned port could "help support critical council services and the most vulnerable."
Ian Diaper, head of operations, revealed that being in a position where they can accommodate the size of ships major cruise lines have in their fleet, meant they were in a great place to attract more than "100 calls in the small, mid-size luxury and expedition cruise sector."
He added that once the cruise berth extension was complete they will then turn their attention to transforming the terminal building "in anticipation for an upsurge in passengers." They will be looking to accommodate up to 2,000 cruise passengers, "which will mean additional check-in desks, security and lounge facilities, plus a baggage hall able to handle the passenger volumes expected."
The 30-year-old passenger access boarding tower is expected to be replaced. Additional mooring points will be constructed, allowing for 2 ships to be accommodated at once.
Thanks to the project, cruise ships as long as 255 metres could become a more regular sight. Current cruises leave the port city to the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Iceland, and South Africa.