Southampton sees record cruise calls in May

The port of Southampton handled a record number of cruise ships in May as the summer sailing season got into full swing.

More than 400,000 passengers used the port during the month as 26 different ships made a total of 71 calls.

Almost one million cruise passengers have passed through the port so far in 2024.

Operator Associated British Ports (ABP) said 20% of ships visiting plugged into shore power, allowing them to switch off their engines and achieve zero emissions while docked.

ABP said it was seeing an increase in cruise ships utilising the shore power facility at the port of Southampton compared to the previous year.

The port handled 2.75 million passengers in 2023 and the cruise sector generated more than £1 billion for the local and regional economy.

ABP described and 2024 as being “well on its way” to increasing these benefits.

Senior cruise manager Thea George said: “What a fantastic month May was. We’ve had a great start to the year with January to April seeing an increase in cruise calls as the months progress and our summer season has started in earnest with a record 71 calls to the port in May. 

“It is great to see so many passengers come to our city and travel out of the port on some of the most luxurious cruise ships. 

“The cruise, marine and land operations teams work tirelessly throughout the summer months to ensure our visitors safely board the vessels and so ships can depart on time. 

“It is great for the city to see so many cruise ships coming in and out of the port, and we hope the people of Southampton feel as proud as we are of the key role the city plays within the global cruise sector. 

“Our port and the city are intrinsically linked with so much maritime history; it is great to be part of making new history in the modern world of cruising.”

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