THE Rose Bowl has launched a bid to act as a passenger check-in facility during a cruise ship bonanza this summer.

Thousands of passengers are expected to descend on Southampton on July 3 when seven P&O liners gather in the city for the company’s 175th anniversary.

As previously reported, the event will see Azura, Ventura, Arcadia, Oriana, Oceana, Aurora and Adonia docked together in Southampton.

Now bosses at the home of Hampshire Cricket are preparing to help process some of the tens of thousands of passengers who are set to pass through the city on the day.

With only four permanent cruise terminals in Southampton docks, a further warehouse is set to be converted into a terminal for the day, leaving Aurora and Adonia without a permanent quayside handling facility.

Under plans submitted to Eastleigh Borough Council, the Rose Bowl would host the check-in for passengers for these two ships, with guests transported to the docks in coaches.

Two marquee tents would be set up on the East Berm and existing facilities would also be used in an operation lasting up to four days.

The application is due to go before members of the Hedge End, West End and Botley planning committee next month.

The Rose Bowl declined to comment ahead of the hearing, other than to say the application was on behalf of Carnival Cruises (P&O).