Published on Friday, January 17, 2020

Port of Southampton prepares for record number of maiden cruise visits

The Port of Southampton is expecting a record number of cruise ships making maiden calls to the port.

In 2020, the port will see 14 maiden calls from cruise vessels, which is an increase from 11 in 2019. The figure includes P&O Cruises' Iona arriving in Southampton for its first call May 9.

During the year, the port will also host three naming ceremonies including Celebrity Cruises' newest vessel, Celebrity Apex, on March 28 and Princess Cruises' Enchanted Princess, on June 30.

On Saturday July 4, the port will host the hugely anticipated naming ceremony of P&O Cruises' Iona as part of the cruise line's week-long 'Ionafest' celebrations.

The first maiden call of the year will be Celebrity Apex when the ship arrives on March 23 ahead of her naming ceremony.

Regional director at ABP's Port of Southampton Alastair Welch, said: "We're really pleased that an increasing number of cruise ships are making the Port of Southampton part of their cruise itineraries.

"Cruise is an ever-growing industry and we're immensely proud to be hosting three naming ceremonies this year and playing a significant part in the launch of a new cruise vessel."

Each cruise vessel on its maiden call is officially welcomed to the port with a traditional plaque and key ceremony.

The Port of Southampton is expecting around 500 cruise calls during 2020 and is Europe's leading cruise turn-around port welcoming 2 million passengers throughout the year. Every cruise call generates £2 million for the economy. 


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