Plans for a major expansion of Southampton Port are being drawn up more than a decade after proposals were rejected on environmental grounds.

Associated British Ports (ABP) is conducting feasibility studies for new port facilities on land it owns at Dibden Bay, opposite the current Port of Southampton.

In 2004 the Labour Government rejected ABP’s plans for a 300 hectare container port and intermodal complex on the land, citing environmental concerns. Read more >

Photo by eastleighbusman


The world’s largest cruise ship has arrived at Southampton ahead of its maiden voyage.

The 1,188ft long Harmony of the Seas cost one billion US dollars (£695 million), can carry 6,780 guests and 2,100 crew, and took more than two-and-a-half years to construct.

The Royal Caribbean ship, which has 20 restaurants on board, will set sail for its first trip, a four-night cruise from Southampton to Rotterdam, on Sunday May 22.

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The traditional maritime handover ceremony took place yesterday at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, said: “Carnival Vista is a spectacular addition to our fleet and we can’t wait for our guests to experience all of the ship’s exciting new features.”

The maiden voyage for the 3,954-passenger ship will be on 1 May and she will spend summer in Europe. Carnival Vista will not be officially christened until she reaches New York in November.

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Featured image photo by ChrisCruises


AIDAprima, AIDA Cruises’ new flagship will make her inaugural visit to the port of Southampton, UK on 27 April.

Initially calling as part of a four-day cruise the AIDAprima will return to Southampton every Monday from 3 May as part of her seven-day Western Europe tours from the port of Hamburg. These all year round voyages will take guests to destinations such as London, Southampton, Paris, Brussels, Zeebrugge and Rotterdam.

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Photo by kees torn


Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has announced its 2017-2018 itineraries at an event in London on Tuesday 8 March 2016. The line’s fleet of four ships, Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch will visit 220 destinations in 70 countries and 118 areas of scenic cruises.

Fred Olsen’s Mike Rodwell said that the release of the full itinerary brochure was taking place earlier than ever before, which allows the company to take advantage of positive market sentiments. Operating revenues improved 26% last year and EBITDA was 50% higher.” He added that the recent wave season had seen “fantastic bookings”.

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Saga aims to attract new cruise passengers by offering four short cruises from Dover and Southampton to destinations in Europe next year.

Offered on the Saga Sapphire, the 4 day ‘Easter Escape’ cruise departs Southampton on 14 April and includes visits to St Peter Port, Guernsey, Cherbourg and Le Havre. From Le Havre, guests are given the option of a day trip to Honfleur or Paris, before returning to Dover.

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Associated British Ports’ Port of Southampton has been named the UK’s Best Departure Port for the seventh year running.

Southampton won the coveted title in the 2015 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Award.

Southampton, the undisputed king of departure ports in the UK, is not only the UK’s leading cruise port but Europe’s number one turnaround cruise port as well. The news follows ABP Southampton being named the UK’s fourth busiest port according to new statistics released by the Department of Transport.

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Photo by Phil Guest