The Port of Southampton has welcomed the opening of its newest cruise terminal.
The ribbon cutting took place during a ceremony hosted by the maritime minister as part of London International Shipping Week.
Robert Courts unveiled the plaque, formally naming and opening the £55 million next-generation Horizon Cruise Terminal.
Alastair Welch, regional director at the Port of Southampton, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be officially opening Horizon Cruise Terminal and showing a number of our cruise industry and city partners around the building.
“This investment represents a huge vote of confidence in the future of the cruise industry and as the return of cruise continues to gather pace, we are proud of the role Horizon will play in support of this key industry now and in the future.”
Horizon Cruise Terminal welcomed its first ship and passengers in July and has welcomed over 75,000 passengers already.
The terminal features the first shore power connection of its kind in the UK, enabling cruise ships with the right onboard connectivity to ‘plug in’ to green energy while alongside.
Horizon’s shore power is expected to be commissioned later this year.
Courts added: “As we look towards a brighter and greener future for the cruise sector, we need to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to support the shift to cleaner ships.
“The Horizon terminal shows how this can be done. Such innovation will help the sector to build back greener and reduce emissions by providing state-of-the-art green shore power connectivity for cruises here in the UK.”
With Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port anticipated to double its passenger numbers to four million per year over the next 30 years, Horizon Cruise Terminal comfortably expands Southampton’s ability to welcome more cruise lines and passengers as the popularity of cruise grows.