SOUTHAMPTON has scooped yet another cruise award.

The port was named best departure port in the new Wave Awards held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.

Southampton was selected as winner by an editorial panel from World of Cruising, Cruise Ports & Destinations and Cruise Trade News.

As well as being the home port for world famous vessels like Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, the port regularly hosts cruise industry occasions such as the launch of the UK’s biggest-ever purpose-built cruise ship, Britannia.

In addition to Cunard, other leading cruise operators which use the port include P&O, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Fred Olsen Cruise Line, and Saga Holidays and it was announced this month that Norwegian Cruise Lines would join the roster in the summer of 2017.

The UK’s number one cruise port, Southampton welcomes 1.7 million passengers annually and its overall business contributes £1 billion to the UK economy every year.

Speaking at the Echo-backed Business Works event in the city earlier this month, Elaine Holt, executive vice president of Carnival UK, praised the city’s transport links saying passengers embarking from Southampton could be from “kerb to cabin in 30 minutes”.

Port owner ABP has plans to expand the port’s passenger capability – two of the port’s four cruise terminals, Mayflower Terminal and City Cruise Terminal, have seen multi-million pound investments, and a £5 million refurbishment is well under way at the QEII Cruise Terminal.

Port manager Clive Thomas said: “We are thrilled to be named the best UK departure port.

“ABP Southampton prides itself on providing an excellent departure experience for all passengers and it is fantastic to be recognised for this quality service by the Wave Awards judging panel.”