As demand increases for no-fly cruises, ports around the British Isles look
set to benefit
Southampton is one of a number of UK ports forecasting a major increase in cruise traffic this year – in spite of a dip in passenger throughput in 2014. Europe’s largest embarkation and disembarkation port, Southampton processed 1.57 million passengers in 2014, compared with 1.68 million in 2013.
According to figures released by the Cruise Lines International Association, passenger numbers are predicted to rise 11 per cent this year, to 1.75 million, fuelled by increasing demand for no-fly cruises.
• Ultimate guide to no-fly cruises
This year the Hampshire port is the base for two brand new ships – P&O Cruises’ Britannia, which holds 3,600 passengers and Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas (4,180 passengers). Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, launched in 2014 by the Duchess of Cambridge, returns to Southampton for the summer 2015 season.
P&O’s Britannia is home-ported in Southampton
A handful of regional ports are also predicting an uplift. Passenger traffic through London Cruise Terminal, Port of Tilbury totalled 54,000 last year and the port is forecasting that this will almost double to 100,000 passengers in 2015, thanks in part to the addition of Cruise and Maritime’s 1,250-passenger Magellan, home-ported in Tilbury.
• Britannia in numbers
CMV cruises from eight UK ports to Europe, the Norwegian fjords, the Scottish Islands, Iceland, the Baltic, West Indies, Canada, the Amazon and Australia included. “Being just a few minutes from the M25 and Dartford Crossing, makes Tilbury extremely accessible,” said a spokesperson. “There is also a good rail service from the heart of London and for every CMV cruise there is a coach transfer service available from London Victoria.”
After being announced in May cruise departures from Dundee sold out in just a few weeks.
St Peter Port in Guernsey is a popular port of call
Liverpool, whose historical waterfront was the backdrop for the meeting of Cunard’s “three Queens” in May, forecasts passenger growth of 12 per cent to 83,000 passengers in 2015. Bristol’s renaissance as a port continues this year, having restarted cruise ship sailings in 2013 for the first time in 20 years, with passenger traffic forecast to grow 11.5 per cent in 2015 to 20,000.
• No-fly cruise holidays from Britain
Cruise traffic to islands around the UK mainland is also set to grow. Traffic through Guernsey port is predicted to rise 20 per cent to 130,000 and through Orkney by 17 per cent to 79,000 passengers.
Each ship turnaround at Southampton – there were 422 last year – is estimated to contribute £2 million to the local economy.