SOUTHAMPTON’S Port is due to be busy this weekend as cruises get well underway once again.

Over the weekend, cruise ships including Iona, Celebrity Silhouette, MSC Virtuosa, regal Princess, Meralla Explorer, Anthem of the Seas, Britannia and Ventura will all head into port.

This comes as international cruises begin to start up again with voyages having been allowed to resume from August 2.

Embarking to areas including Northern Europe, the Scottish coast, and cruises around the British Isles, the weekend will also see seven of the incoming ships depart again.

P&O Cruises 184,700 ton cruise liner, Iona, will be departing today at 9pm, along with Marella Explorer at 5pm, Celebrity Silhouette at 6pm and MSC Virtuosa at 7pm.

Whilst on Sunday, Ventura embarks at 5pm, Anthem of the Seas at 5.30pm, and Britannia at 6pm.

With the increase in passenger ships, this is expected to bring more traffic on the roads as more people also head to the city’s high streets at the same time.

Deputy leader of Southampton City Council and cabinet member for growth, Cllr Jeremy Moulton, said: “We’ve been very concious that as we’ve come out of the restrictions from covid, the city will get busier.

“The high street the last couple of weeks has been pretty much back to normal, which is great, and the roads will start to get busier as a consequence.

“Obviously with the cruises returning and also into September when we start seeing the students coming back to university, that will be another milestone in the city getting busier.”

The councillor explained that several different projects are being looked at as the area becomes busier again with one being a way to transport passengers into port by train.

He added: “Longer term we’re looking at whether we can put in some sort of mass transit system to help.

“Specifically with regards to cruise passengers, my hope is that we will see cruise passengers going directly into the docks via train.”

As well as future projects, short term the council has launched the Travel Southampton campaign, encouraging regular car users to consider alternative modes of transport.

The campaign provides online information about planning journeys, including an interactive map that shows any road schemes that may affect travel.

This can be found on the My Journey website.