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Southampton: ABP makes £6m cruise investment

By Dan Teuton
15 December 2014

Following the signing of a new agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines, ABP is investing over £6 million 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 £6m 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 sq ft, and means that passengers will be able to wait in comfort to check-in before boarding their cruise. A 46-person lift is to be added, along with 10 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.

"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 £2m 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.”

The revamped terminal will be opened in April, ahead of the start of the busy summer cruise season.

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