Port of Southampton is expecting a record number of cruise ships to make maiden calls this year.
In 2020, the port will see 14 maiden calls from cruise vessels.
This is an increase from the 11 new ships seen in 2019 and includes P&O Cruises’ Iona arriving in Southampton for her first call on May 9th.
During the year, the port will also host three naming ceremonies including Celebrity Cruises’ newest vessel, Celebrity Apex, on March 28th and Princess Cruises’, Enchanted Princess, on June 30th.
On Saturday July 4th, the port will host the hugely anticipated naming ceremony of P&O Cruises’ Iona as part of the cruise line’s week-long ‘Ionafest’ celebrations.
The first maiden call of the year will be Celebrity Apex when she arrives on March 23rd, ahead of her naming ceremony.
Regional director at ABP’s Port of Southampton, Alastair Welch, said: “We’re really pleased that an increasing number of cruise ships are making the Port of Southampton part of their cruise itineraries.
“Cruise is an ever-growing industry and we’re immensely proud to be hosting three naming ceremonies this year and playing a significant part in the launch of a new cruise vessel.”
Each cruise vessel on its maiden call is officially welcomed to the port with a traditional plaque and key ceremony.
The Port of Southampton is expecting around 500 cruise calls during 2020 and is Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port welcoming two million passengers throughout the year.
Every cruise call generates £2 million for the economy.