A new next-generation-ready fifth cruise terminal is to open in Southampton for the 2021 cruise season.
Associated British Ports have announced that the port will benefit from the new more environmentally friendly terminal which will house roof-mounted solar panels and will also have shore power connectivity installed to allow cruise ships to switch to shore side power and reduce emissions from their engines whilst berthed alongside.
The new terminal is part of a £55m long-term investment into the port in order to strengthen Southampton’s position as Europe’s top cruise turnaround port and the UK’s number one departure port.
The new terminal will be part of a strategic partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and MSC Cruises and will help support a growing industry in welcoming the new and next generation of cruise ships in terms of size, capacity and technology visiting the port.
The project is being supported by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) through the UK Government:s Getting Building Fund with an grant of £8m.
Director of ABP Southampton, Alastair Welch commented:
“We’re very pleased to announce this major advance in our cruise infrastructure at the port, delivering further access to Southampton for the industry, whilst supporting our commitment to accelerate improvements in local air quality.
“This investment is a huge vote of confidence in the future of cruise in Southampton and we’re excited to be at the forefront of a growing industry.”
Solent LEP Director and Leader of Southampton City Council Councillor Christopher Hammond stated:
“I am delighted to be able to announce the LEPs investment of £8m to bring forward a Fifth Cruise Terminal in Southampton. Not only will this cement our status as the home of the cruise industry, but respects our maritime heritage and underlines our commitment to a sustainable future.
“Whilst both the Council and the LEP continue to work with businesses facing a very challenging winter, we are committed to ensuring we can emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic with the strongest foundations for future growth. I’m pleased that this investment joins a growing list of public and private commitments to making our city greener, fairer and healthier, whilst providing much needed jobs in our economic renewal.”
Speaking on behalf of the UK Government, Minister for Maritime Department of Transport Robert Courts MP enthused:
“Southampton is the heart of UK’s cruising industry and a new terminal will create even more jobs and boost the area’s economy.
“As we continue to support the cruise sector in its restart and recovery, it’s great to see Government funding being used to help deliver better services for passengers. This nextgeneration facility also showcases to ports around the world how we’re pioneering the use of green technology right here in the UK.”
Commenting on the new project and partnership, Steve Moeller, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd Senior Vice President of Commercial Development said:
“This agreement marks the continuation of the strong partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Port of Southampton and demonstrates our commitment to the region.
“Consistent with our commitment to driving a positive impact on society and the environment, we are pleased to further promote environmental conservancy by partnering with Associated British Ports for the new terminal that will feature Shore Power and RoofMounted Solar Power.”
MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato commented:
“We are really proud to be further supporting the UK cruise industry at this incredibly important time for both the industry and the UK economy. At MSC Cruises we really believe in the potential of the UK cruise market and making this long-term commitment is evidence of that.
“Over the last five years MSC Cruises has increased our presence in the UK & Irish markets and following a positive response from travel agents and our guests we feel now is the right time to make a more substantial commitment. We are in a unique position that not only will we be committing to having an MSC Cruises’ ship home port from Southampton every year, but several of our ships will be visiting Southampton as a destination as part of our wider cruise programme.”
Source: Associated British Ports (ABP Southampton)
Feature image © Associated British Ports