The Port of Southampton has reached a crucial milestone with the upgrades to Ocean Cruise Terminal following the arrival of two new air bridges.
The arrival of the two multi-million pound air bridges, as part of the investment partnership with Carnival UK, marks the next stage of the £12 million pound upgrade. This has been undertaken in readiness for the arrival of Iona, P&O Cruises newest cruise ship and the first wholly powered LNG ship built for the UK market.
The two new air bridges are specially designed to cater for the 5,200-passenger capacity XL class of ships being built for Carnival Corporation of which Iona is the first for P&O Cruises. They arrived from Barcelona on 4 January as the port eagerly awaits the arrival of Iona who will homeport in Southampton from May.
Regional Director for ABP in Southampton Alastair Welch said: “The new airbridges mark an exciting milestone in our investment in the future of cruise and ensure we can continue to be Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port.
“We have an ongoing programme of investment in our infrastructure to ensure we can continue to meet the growing needs of our customers at the port.”
Steven Young, Vice President Port & Shore Operation at Carnival UK said: “We are delighted to see the upgrades being made to the cruise facilities at Southampton for our new contemporary flagship Iona which will be the first LNG powered cruise ship operating out of the UK”
With Iona’s arrival, the Port of Southampton will be the UK’s first port to enable the provision of ship to ship LNG bunkering for cruise ships.