In a bid to ensure Southampton remains the UK cruise port of choice, Associated British Ports (ABP) has announced its £6 million investment into renovating the Mayflower cruise terminal.
The work follows ABP signing an agreement with Carnival Cruise Lines – the operator of P&O Cruises and Cunard.
It will include a complete redesign of the check-in, departure, security and passenger lounges, as well as the drop-off and pick-up areas.
Not only this, but the internal space of the terminal will also be revamped by undergoing an expansion. This will involve the removal of 100 tonnes of blockwork walls and floors, and the installation of 500 tonnes of steelwork frames to create a reception area of 35,000 sq ft.
Furthermore, a 46-person capacity lift, ten new toilet facilities and heating ventilation will benefit the thousands of passengers who enter the terminal each hour.
The renovation will be carried out by more than 200 staff, who will have a time period of 22 weeks to complete the project between the last ship departing from the terminal and the first vessel returning.
Steven Young, director of port services and government affairs at Carnival Cruise Lines, 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.
“This particularly appeals to those who prefer not to fly and who appreciate the ability of being able to drive to the terminal door, hand their keys to a valet parker and then have their luggage delivered to them, for a stress-free travel experience.”
The turnaround of each cruise ship is estimated to deliver around £2 million to the economy.
Nick Ridehalgh, director of ABP Southampton, believes that the new improvements will not only serve frequent and new cruise passengers, but will also benefit groups and businesses across the city, including taxis, hotels and restaurants.
The renovation is due for completion by April next year, in time for the start of the summer cruise season.