Southampton will be tested to the limit when six international cruise ships arrive in the city on Saturday.

Roads in and around the docks will be heavy with traffic while Southampton Airport is preparing for a hectic time as large numbers of people arrive to join the vessels and many others depart at the end of their holiday.

Hotels, restaurants, taxis and train services are all gearing up for what promises to be one of the busiest 24-hour periods of the year – on Saturday, July 16.

More than 33,500 passengers, more than twice the population of Romsey, will pass through the port.

A large proportion of the 5,740 crew members from the six ships will head for the shops in and around Above Bar, as the ships generate more than £7m for the city’s economy by using a long list of local services and suppliers.

The ships are all set to arrive in port early in the morning, then depart at various times during the late afternoon and early evening.

The ships scheduled to be in port are Celebrity Eclipse, 101 berth, City Cruise Terminal; Artania, 102 berth; Balmoral, 104 berth; Crown Princess, 106 berth, Mayflower Terminal; Grand Princess, 38/9 berth, Queen Elizabeth II Terminal and Ventura, 46 berth, Ocean Terminal.

Huge crowds of sightseers and shipping enthusiasts are expected.


At 43,537 tons, she is one of the smaller ships in operation today, with 744 cabins, capable of accommodating up to 1,930 passengers. The Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ ship has previously sailed as Norwegian Crown, and Crown Odyssey and has 471 crew members.


With her dramatic profile, 15 passenger decks, and 1,557 cabins, this ship has become a regular sight in Southampton.

Operated by Princess Cruises, the Italianbuilt 116,000 ton, vessel can carry up to 3,782 guests and is five years old.


Sister ship of Crown Princess, she has just undergone a multimillion refit, which was the biggest, and most wide-ranging, in the company’s history. A firm favourite with British passengers, she weighs in at 108,806 tons, and has a total of 13 passenger decks, featuring 1,300 cabins.


The 122,000 ton ship is part of the Celebrity Cruises fleet of vessels, and entered service in June of last year. With 14 passenger decks, she has enough cabins to accommodate up to 3,145 guests, and even boasts a real grass lawn on one of her upper decks.


This 44,348 ton, ship will be making a welcome return to Southampton, where she was previously well known as P&O Cruises’ Artemis, until she left the company’s fleet earlier this year. Now owned by a German operator, she began life as Royal Princess, and was named by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.


One of the newest ships in P&O Cruises’ Southampton-based fleet of vessels, she was built in Italy, has 15 passenger decks, and can accommodate up to 3,574 passengers in 1,546 cabins.

The 116,000 ton vessel is 951 feet long, and 118 feet wide.