Within the next five years Portsmouth International Port will be able to handle most cruise ships looking for a UK berth, it was announced at the launch of its 20-year Masterplan on Wednesday 16 February.

Global engineering and project management consultants Royal HaskoningDHV undertook detailed market analysis and extensive stakeholder engagement to forecast changes in the travel industry and outlined what the port needed to focus on to meet demands.

Central to the plans will be extensions and upgrades to berths so the port can handle two 300m ships simultaneously and a priority focus on providing green facilities.

This means Portsmouth will be in a position to manage up to 80% of ships currently expected to call into the UK.

A brand new £14m terminal extension is under construction, following a successful Levelling UP Funding bid, allowing the port to handle an additional 2,000 passengers in an exclusive cruise lounge.

The Masterplan also includes:

  • Overhead walkway from terminal to ship
  • Additional parking from the city’s state-of-the-art upgraded park and ride
  • Water deepening
  • Shore power infrastructure for ships
  • Extension exiting cruise berth by a further 25m
  • The overall Masterplan is expected to generate approximately £739m for the national economy by 2032 and secure over 10,000 jobs following a £92m investment.

Mike Sellers, Portsmouth International Port’s director said: “There are dramatic changes facing the industry over the coming years, and we want to make sure we’re in the best position to play our role as a major UK port.

“We have been growing our cruise operations steadily and have successfully welcomed brand new lines such as Virgin Voyages to the UK and have also focused our attention on regular loyal, long-standing customers such as Noble Caledonia, Ponant, Phoenix Reisen and Viking.

“Our drive is to deliver a bespoke service for customers that share our values, in return their passengers know they’ll have a premium experience in Portsmouth.

“This Masterplan identifies how we’ll deliver first-class cruise facilities, vital to safeguard the port’s future and the anticipated growing popularity of cruise in the UK.

“Conversations with industry experts has highlighted a necessity for more berth availability, which is why we’re planning to extend berths to 300m so we can handle multiple ships at once.

“This is an exciting position, but all of it comes with a determination to become one of the most sustainable ports in the UK.

“We’re making space for a sustainable future and contributing towards elevating Portsmouth’s status as one of the UK’s leading marine and maritime cities.”

The Masterplan identified central themes, environment and sustainability, society and economy, resilience and security, innovation, and technology.

There will be a phased approach to projects, with the terminal building starting in spring, running alongside the green initiatives.

The environmental projects include:

  • Net carbon zero by 2030
  • Net energy provider for the whole port site
  • 12 – 24 months
  • Shore power infrastructure for smaller ships
  • Lithium-ion battery for energy storage, providing shore power for smaller ships from summer 2022
  • Over five years
  • Shore power for all ships
  • Net energy provider for the whole port site using solar PV and wind turbines
  • Net carbon zero by 2030

Cruise Britain spokesperson said: “Sustainable operations are key to the future of the global cruise industry and it is vital that the UK and Cruise Britain members, including Portsmouth, are well-placed to support cruise vessels.

“Operators are working towards net carbon neutral cruise by 2050 and Portsmouth’s plans will allow the Port to deliver on this goal. The UK cruise industry relies on a diverse, forward-looking, and pro-active shoreside infrastructure and supply chain as evidenced in the Masterplan.”

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