Portsmouth International Port have released their initial cruise schedule for 2022, which sees an impressive number of maiden calls from both new cruise lines, and ships, over the next 12 months.
2022 brings a new cruise season to Portsmouth, which includes many maiden visits for both ships and cruise lines, along with the return of many longstanding customers.
This initial release of the cruise schedule, which is due to be added to as the year progresses, will see many cruise passengers begin their journeys in the city, or alternatively stop in Portsmouth to experience the wide range of world-class attractions on offer.
The schedule includes maiden visits for a wide range of cruise lines, including AIDA, Poseidon Expeditions, Oceania Cruises, Seabourn and Mystic Cruises. Other highlights include the port hosting an inaugural spring cruise season for Virgin Voyages' 'Valiant Lady', along with maiden calls from 'Viking Mars' and Swan Hellenic's 'SH Vega'. The port will also welcome vessels from longstanding friends of the port, including Noble Caledonia, Phoenix Reisen, Fred Olsen, Nicko Cruises, Voyages to Antiquity, Linblad and Seacloud.
To mark the launch of the 2022 cruise schedule, the port worked with film-makers Strong Island Media, to create a short film that celebrates the combination of history, attractions and a unique harbour entrance that makes arriving in Portsmouth a truly special experience.
Andrew Williamson, Passenger Operations Manager at Portsmouth International Port said: "We can't wait to get started with the 2022 cruise season, as we begin to return to normality following the challenges the pandemic has brought to the entire travel industry. The team at the port has been working very hard behind the scenes to show the cruise industry what we and the city have to offer, and they like what they have seen, leading to a bumper number of maiden calls. With such an exciting range of luxury, boutique and expedition vessels visiting Portsmouth this year, we think this is the start of something special here at the port".
A terminal extension to accommodate the anticipated increase in cruise passengers is due to start next month, following the announcement that the scheme had been awarded £11.25m Levelling Up Funding from Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
An independent assessment from Oxford Economics on the value of cruise growth to the city over a 40 year period from 2021 has been estimated securing £205m for UK GDP per annum.
The terminal transformation development, which is scheduled to be ready by spring 2023, will support an average GDP contribution of £43 million per annum to the Portsmouth City Council area over a 40-year period.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “Portsmouth International Port is a vital economic driver for the city, which also makes a valuable contribution towards essential council services. As a city we've invested in the port, extending the cruise berth and supporting them with their development plans. The terminal extension will mean that not only do we have some of the best facilities around for cruise passengers, but also means that our existing ferry customers also have the room to grow. Combined with ambitious plans for shore power and to be the UK's first zero emission port by 2050, Portsmouth International Port continually strives for ambitious, sustainable development in the coming years".
Throughout the pandemic, the port has continued to welcome travellers in a safe and sensible way. Portsmouth was was one of the first ports in the UK at achieve the My Care™ standard, recognised by independent assessors DNV, for protocols to manage and reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections. The My Care™ certification was renewed in September 2021.