A SOUTHAMPTON-based ship has made history by increasing the population of a remote South Pacific island six-fold.

Pitcairn Island, the former settlement of Bounty mutineers, became home to a new group of seafarers as an unprecedented 315 Britons landed safely on the island, having come ashore from a world cruise aboard Saga Rose.

Sea conditions make it notoriously difficult for passengers to land in any number on the island.

Captain David Warden-Owen, Master Saga Rose, said: "I believe that today we made history by landing the highest number of passengers from a cruise ship on the Island.

"The sea conditions at Pitcairn were the best I have ever experienced in all the times I have been here.

"Not only that but we were the first ship ever to carry out the operation with ship's tenders. It was a great team effort and a very successful operation."

The Saga passengers, who are almost halfway through their world cruise, spent three hours on the island, increasing the normal population of just under 50 at least six-fold. The cruise will return to Southampton on April 26 after 108 nights, having visiting 39 ports of call and travelled 34,592 miles

Saga Rose also made history in 2004 by being the biggest cruise ship to visit and land passengers at the Antarctic