Portsmouth International has welcomed its largest ever vessel with the arrival of Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas.
The milestone follows a complex engineering project undertaken during a period of significant challenge.
Completion of the port’s multi-million-pound berth extension means it can now manage larger ships, evidenced by Majesty of the Seas at 268 metres.
Weighing in at over 73,000 GT, in tonnage this is the largest ship the city has seen and demonstrates the capabilities now available at Portsmouth International Port.
Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port director, said: “This is a major milestone for our ambitions.
“When we embarked on the construction, we knew it was a complex development.
“Operating in a marine environment always poses significant challenges, for what can appear a straightforward project.
“When the pandemic arrived, we were well into the work and any delays would have had a significant impact.
“As a lifeline port it’s critical we can accommodate a range of ships and we needed our berth back in action as soon as possible.
“Little did we know as soon the berth was ready for service, we’d have the largest cruise ship the city has seen alongside.
“Everyone in the ports industry has stepped up to support one another where possible, and we are pleased we could support Royal Caribbean International.
“Ports have a vital role to play in the economic recovery of the country, if we can operate successfully that has an impact on everyone else getting back to business as usual.”
The berth previously had a sloped level making it particularly challenging for accessing certain ships, the essential levelling work and creation of an additional dolphin – a fixed, permanent structure, separate to the berth, which acts as an extension for mooring – now means larger ships can be safely handled at the port.