Portsmouth International Port has revealed it will be in position to manage up to 80 per cent of cruise ship calls into the UK within the next five years.
The port revealed the figure upon the release of its new masterplan, designed to position it at the forefront of the UK cruise sector.
Central to the plans will be extensions and upgrades to berths, to ensure the port can handle two 300m ships simultaneously.
Portsmouth International Port director Mike Sellers said: “There are dramatic changes facing the industry over the coming years, and we want to make sure we’re in the best position to play our role as a major UK port.
“We have been growing our cruise operations steadily and have successfully welcomed brand new lines such as Virgin Voyages to the UK and also focused our attention on regular loyal, long-standing customers such as Noble Caledonia, Ponant, Phoenix Reisen and Viking.
“Our drive is to deliver a bespoke service for customers that share our values, in return their passengers know they’ll have a premium experience in Portsmouth.
“This masterplan identifies how we’ll deliver first-class cruise facilities, vital to safeguard the port’s future and the anticipated growing popularity of cruise in the UK.
“Conversations with industry experts has highlighted a necessity for more berth availability, which is why we’re planning to extend berths to 300m so we can handle multiple ships at once.”
Portsmouth’s plan for the future
The overall masterplan is expected to generate approximately £739m for the national economy by 2032 and secure more 10,000 jobs, the port said.
A new £14m terminal extension is currently under construction, and Portsmouth Port has outlined new sustainability measures it will incorporate.
There will be a phased approach to projects, with the terminal building starting in spring, running alongside the green initiatives.
These will include being net carbon zero by 2030 and shore power infrastructure for ships calling at Portsmouth.