ABP Cruise ready for busy year

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AIDACosma is among a number of brand-new ships calling at Southampton

Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s leading ports group, is expecting a busy cruise year at its ports, with several new ships and maiden calls, as well as the launch of the UK’s first shore power facility for cruise ships.

ABP Cruise is set to welcome over two million passengers during 2022. The port of Southampton will see its shore power facility commissioned, with zero emissions at berth for ships with onboard connectivity. 

Seven cruise ships will make their maiden calls to Southampton this year. This includes five brand new cruise ships: AIDA Cruises’ AIDACosma and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Prima, both fitted with shore power connectivity; P&O Cruises’ Arvia, powered with LNG (Liquified Natural Gas); Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Beyond, the third ship in their Edge® Series, also their longest and tallest ship yet; featuring an expanded rooftop garden and cantilevered float pools; and Princess Cruises’ Royal-class Enchanted Princess, home to 25 bars and restaurants and the largest balcony at sea, spanning 1000 square feet. The port will also host SilverSea Cruises’ Silver Moon, and Azamara Cruises will make its Southampton debut with Azamara Onward. In addition, there are calls from port regulars like Cunard’s three queens, MSC’s Virtuosa, Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette.

ABP’s port of Plymouth will see the return of Disney Magic in September and will also welcome The World, Seabourn Ovation, Albatros, Amadea and Nieuw Rotterdam during the year. The Hebridean Princess returns to Cardiff in August following a series of successful turnaround cruises in 2021. Meanwhile, the Port of Hull welcomes cruise line Phoenix Reisen for the first time, with Amadea making her maiden call in June. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will sail from Plymouth and Southampton, and Noble Caledonia will run itineraries from Plymouth.  

ABP Cruise’s activities for 2022 represent a natural and exciting progression from 2021, which saw the welcome return of domestic and international cruising. During the year, the Port of Southampton had 773 days, alongside with 239 passenger operations, and ABP’s Wales and Short Sea ports enjoyed an overall increase in cruise calls from 2019 levels.

Rebekah Keeler, ABP Head of Cruise, said:

“ABP Cruise’s ports and destinations offer something for everyone and bring economic value across the UK, so we are thrilled to see such a comprehensive programme for 2022,” 

“ABP continues to invest in its cruise infrastructure, including Southampton’s shore power, LNG bunkering, solar energy, new Horizon Cruise Terminal and airbridges. As an industry, everyone has come together to navigate challenges and adapt to new ways of working. Together we will continue to meet evolving requirements and create excellent guest experiences, ensuring we welcome new and returning passengers through the year.”