A new resident will be warmly welcomed in Portsmouth this weekend, with the arrival of the cruise ship Discovery making the famous maritime city its new home port on the South Coast.
Voyages of Discovery, part of All Leisure Group Limited, are basing the specialist cruise liner at Portsmouth for the next five years. The decision follows £16.5 million of investment in new passenger facilities at the Port, including a stunning new terminal with dedicated facilities for cruise passengers.
All Leisure Group Limited will have three ships operating out of Portsmouth for the next five summer seasons. Minerva, sailing, as part of the Swan Hellenic brand, and the Hebridean Princess will arrive to pick up their first ‘no-fly’ cruise passengers at Britain’s best-connected Port in the next few months. The news comes as the UK cruise industry reveals figures that show a boom in the number of passengers arriving, departing or calling at British ports in 2010. Last year saw UK port visits top half a million cruise passengers for the first time ever, and the number of people starting a cruise in Britain rose by 14%.
Portsmouth International Port has a record year of its own to look forward to in 2011. 34 cruise ship visits are booked at the Port. Martin Putman, Port Manager, said “the arrival of Discovery marks the start of a new chapter in the life of Portsmouth International Port. We know that All Leisure Group Limited have chosen Portsmouth as a UK base because of our excellent transport links and superb new facilities. We look forward to working with them and welcoming thousands of their customers over the next five years.” Discovery arrives in Portsmouth at 0730 on Saturday 23rd April. Its 650
passengers will set sail at 1700 the same day, played out of port by the Band of the Lifeguards to celebrate her inaugural call. The key to a cruise on Discovery is “see more and do more”. Those setting off from the historic port of Portsmouth this weekend will be cruising to visit chateaux, castles and
gardens in Spain, France and all around the British and Irish Coast.