£6m cruise investment in Southampton

December 10, 2014

Image: An artist’s impression of the new Mayflower Cruise Terminal building

Following the signing of a new agreement with Carnival UK, ABP is investing over £6m into transforming one of its four dedicated cruise facilities, the Mayflower Cruise Terminal.

The ongoing enhancement and development of the port’s infrastructure by ABP is crucial to ensure Southampton remains the most popular port in Europe for beginning and ending a cruise. 

The £6 million renovation works include a complete redesign of the departure, check-in, security and passenger lounges as well as drop-off and pick-up areas.  

The expansion of the internal space, which will include removing 100 tonnes of blockwork walls and floors and installing 500 tonnes of new steelwork frames, will create a reception area of 35,000 square feet and means that passengers can wait in comfort to check-in before boarding their cruise. A forty-six person lift is to be added, along with ten new toilet facilities and heating ventilation, to cater for the thousands of passengers who pass through the terminal every hour.

Over 200 staff will work on this fast-paced renovation project, with just 22 weeks to make the modifications between the last ship leaving the terminal and the first ship arriving back in.

Together these improvements will enhance the passenger’s overall experience at the port and will bring the Mayflower Terminal in line with the requirements and standards of the modern-day cruise ship.

Steven Young, director of port services & government affairs at Carnival UK said:

“Cruising out of Southampton forms the core part of our offering to the UK cruise market which in terms of volume is second only to the US.

"This particularly appeals to those who prefer not to fly and who appreciate the ability of being able to drive to the terminal door, hand their keys to a valet parker and then have their luggage delivered to them, for a stress-free travel experience."

He added: "I think the strength of our relationship with ABP has grown and grown over the years and is borne out of mutual trust and long-term agreements that enable us to plan for our future growth and success.”

Iconic brands such as P&O and Cunard have been synonymous with Southampton for over 175 years. Today over 270 of Southampton’s 430 cruise ship calls to the port are owned and operated by Carnival group brands, and their numbers are predicted to continue to grow due to the introduction of P&O’s new ship Britannia in 2015 and the advent of weekly transit calls by Aida.

With each cruise ship turnaround estimated to bring over £2 million to the economy, Nick Ridehalgh, director of ABP Southampton, said: “The benefits of the improvements will affect a much wider group than just those heading off on cruises. Businesses across the city, such as taxis, hotels and restaurants for examples, all benefit from the cruise industry.

“We must ensure we continue to work with the cruise lines and their guests to ensure Southampton remains the UK cruise port of choice.” The revamped terminal will be opened in April, ahead of the start of the busy summer cruise season.