Big Rise In Cruise Ships To Visit Portsmouth

There will be more cruise ship visits at Portsmouth International Port in 2013 than ever before.

Among those booked to visit is the world's largest sailing ship and the largest commercial vessel ever to dock at Portsmouth.

Martin Putman, Port Manager of Portsmouth International Port, said "We've been steadily building our cruise ship business over the last decade, investing in new facilities and constantly making improvements. This appears to have paid off in 2013 with a big increase in the number of cruise ships due to come in and out of the Port. What's great is that 90% of them are repeat customers, a sure sign that once operators discover what we have to offer they keep coming back for more."

There will be 50 cruise ship movements at Portsmouth next year, compared with 34 in 2012. Big name operators like Swan Hellenic and Fred Olsen continue to use the Port, and are joined by operators such as Thomson in 2013.

One of the most spectacular visitors to Portsmouth next year will be 'Wind Surf', the largest sailing ship in the world. It has five-masts and can carry 312 guests over six decks.

Last year improvements were made to the facilities at Portsmouth International Port, with the extension of 'Berth 2'. This allows vessels as long as 240 metres to visit. It means the German cruise ship "Artania" will visit twice next year, bringing more than a thousand passengers to Portsmouth on each occasion. The ship is 231 metres long and is the biggest commercial vessel ever to have sailed into the Port.