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Record-breaking 30,000 passengers for Southampton during P&O's Grand Event
9:11am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Shipping
A RECORD-breaking 30,000 passengers passed through the port of Southampton in just 12 hours yesterday.
In one of the biggest and most complex operations ever staged in Southampton Docks a constant stream of passengers, together with a further 6,000 crew members, embarked and disembarked the seven P&O ships.
All four of the port’s passenger terminals, along with other nearby berths, were pressed into service, extra dockside staff were drafted in to man hundreds of check-in facilities, security, and the movement of mountains of luggage.
So many ships were alongside Southampton that passengers leaving or joining two of the vessels, Adonia and Aurora, retrieved their luggage or checked in at the Ageas Bowl, the home of Hampshire County cricket, at West End.
Some of the 2,500 passengers bussed to the cricket ground described the operation as “organised chaos” as they battled to reclaim their luggage. P&O later apologised for the delays.
All this took place on the day that the European Cruise Council revealed Southampton was the second busiest port on the continent last year, with 1.5 million passengers. The statistics revealed as much as £600m was generated in economic benefits over the course of 2011 – with each cruise ship contributing an average of around £2.5m to the local economy.