SOUTHAMPTON has been named as the best departure port in the country for the fifth time.

The city’s port, which has this week celebrated its 175th anniversary, won the Best UK Departure Port accolade at the 2013 Cruise Critic UK Editors’ Picks Awards.

An international panel of cruise journalists picked the winners, with other categories recognising the best cruise lines and ships.

Cruise Critic’s UK editor Adam Coulter said: “Southampton Port is convenient to reach by car or train and offers a huge selection of cruises to a wide variety of destinations, delivering fantastic choice.

“The port’s excellent customer service and smooth embarkation process, combined with regular refurbishment and investment, have contributed to this win for Southampton Port. After all, a positive embarkation helps to create happy and lasting holiday memories.”