Cruise passengers passing through the QEII Cruise Terminal in Southampton will start their holidays in style thanks to a multi-million pound project to upgrade its facilities.
The terminal was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1966 and now, 50 years later, has reopened following a joint significant investment of £5m from ABP Port of Southampton and Carnival UK, to refurbish the building and expand its capacity.
The refurbishments ensure that the terminal will continue to provide the very best customer experience as passenger and vessel numbers continue to grow.
The layout and flow of the passenger drop-off area has been improved, with increased use of the undercover drop off facilities QEII Cruise Terminal offers. The new layout aids passenger flows through check-in and, with an enlarged security x-ray area moved upstairs, passengers can move through the terminal in comfort.
The 25% larger baggage hall now boasts access by a new 46-person lift, offering passengers an efficient, step free alternative to current stair and escalator arrangements. The terminal now provides a clean, bright and open space, whilst retaining its heritage character, to welcome customers old and new to the port and several of Carnival UK’s most prestigious ships.
While the terminal improvements are now complete, the investment continues with the installation of a state-of-the-art ship-to-shore walkway to replace the previous walkway initially installed for Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, in the upcoming winter season.
Clive Thomas, Port Manager, said: “Continually making improvements to our facilities is vital in ensuring Southampton remains the UK’s top cruise port. We have upgraded the QEII Cruise Terminal in anticipation of future growth to improve passenger flow and experience. Passenger numbers are expected to increase to 1.8m this year. The investment we have made in the terminal will ensure each of those passengers has a seamless and stress-free start and end to their holidays, and that a greater range of cruise ships can utilise the terminal.”
Steven Young, Director of Port Services & Government Affairs for Carnival UK, said: “Given the long history Cunard and P&O Cruises have had with the QEII Cruise Terminal, especially with QE2’s use of the berth over the years, it is appropriate to have Queen Elizabeth be the ship present for the reopening of the newly-refurbished terminal. The Queen opened the terminal originally and she named Queen Elizabeth in Southampton in 2010. We welcome this joint investment into the terminal and look forward to Carnival UK and other Carnival brand ships using these new facilities for many years to come.”
The project at the QEII Cruise Terminal was the latest in a series of investments made by ABP into improving the city’s cruise facilities. Significant investment was made into upgrades at the City Cruise Terminal in conjunction with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) in 2014/15. Investment of £1m at the Ocean Cruise Terminal followed and in April 2015 the Mayflower
Pictured are guests including Alistair Welch, ABP Southampton Director; David Noyes, Chief Executive of Cunard; and Cunard’s most loyal passenger, Florence Farmer.