Mein Schiff 3: Longest ship to enter Portsmouth Harbour arrives

  • Published 26 May 2023

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The ship is carrying 2,000 German passengers

The longest ship to ever enter Portsmouth has arrived in the harbour.

Mein Schiff 3, which has more than 2,000 German passengers onboard, is 965ft (294m) long - beating the record set by Virgin's 909ft-long (277m) long Valiant Lady.

The €360m TUI vessel, named after the German for "my ship", arrived from Liverpool at about 05:30 BST.

It has been operational since 2014 and boasts 15 bars and nine restaurants. It has a 1,000-strong crew.

Mein Schiff 3 in Portsmouth Harbour.

It previously made headlines for being the first ship to visit Dominica after Hurricane Maria in 2017, and again during the pandemic after 2,899 crew members had to isolate after some tested positive for Covid-19.

Mein Schiff 3 will leave for Bremerhaven, Germany, at 19:00.

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Mein Schiff 3: Largest Ship Ever to Sail into Portsmouth

  • May 28, 2023

Mein Schiff 3

TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 3 is the largest ship ever to sail into Portsmouth (UK) harbor, according to a press release.

Measuring 293.3 meters in length, the ship arrived on May 26 carrying 2,400 passengers.

Portsmouth International Port’s director Mike Sellers said: “We’ve seen many major milestones in our ambitions to grow the reputation of Portsmouth International Port and this TUI call marks another.

“The investment in extending our berth to accommodate larger vessels through to promoting the city’s reputation as a destination has seen cruise activity grow year on year.

“We outlined in our Masterplan where we want to be in the future, with a focus on sustainable innovation and working with partners who share our vision. It’s fantastic to see real evidence of our plans taking shape and with more positive news to share over the coming months shows Portsmouth’s position as a leading marine and maritime city.”

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TUI cruise vessel becomes largest ship to ever sail into the harbour

26 may 2023.

Portsmouth harbour has been the backdrop of many spectacles, today (Friday 26 May) it was the turn of cruise line TUI, as their ship Mein Schiff 3 took the title of largest ship ever to sail into the city.

Measuring 293.3m in length and weighing 99,536 in gross tonnage TUI cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 takes the accolade of the largest ship to ever sail into Portsmouth harbour, demonstrating the growing capabilities of Portsmouth International Port to manage a wider range of ships.

With 2400 mainly German speaking passengers onboard, Mein Schiff 3 arrived in Portsmouth at 6.30am for guests to enjoy exploring the city’s  world class attractions and also those further afield, highlighting the increasing draw of the city as a destination.

Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port’s director said: “We’ve seen many major milestones in our ambitions to grow the reputation of Portsmouth International Port and this TUI call marks another. “The investment in extending our berth to accommodate larger vessels through to promoting the city’s reputation as a destination has seen cruise activity grow year on year. “We outlined in our Masterplan where we want to be in the future, with a focus on sustainable innovation and working with partners who share our vision. It’s fantastic to see real evidence of our plans taking shape and with more positive news to share over the coming months shows Portsmouth’s position as a leading marine and maritime city.”

Investment in the port’s infrastructure is part of an ambitious strategy to continue growth as a leading player in the maritime industry and one of the UK’s most sustainable ports. A new pilotage service also launched earlier week, which means the port has a dedicated service to make sure pilots are able get on board ships and navigate vessels safely.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member responsible for the port said: “Today’s arrival is hugely positive for the city and another step forward in Portsmouth’s plans to become a world class destination for cruise. “With the multi-million carbon neutral terminal extension due to open this summer means we’re offering bespoke facilities for our visitors to the port and the wider city. As a council owned port its success has an impact on the contribution to essential services, so achievements like today’s impressive cruise call has wide-ranging benefits for the whole city, with each visit estimated to bring £1.5m in the local economy.”

Mein Schiff 3’s arrival is known as a port of call visit where hundreds of passengers will be heading to excursions local and regionally. Shaping Portsmouth ambassadors were on the quayside to welcome passengers, with some of the team fluent in German and able to tell them what Portsmouth has to offer.

Andrew Williamson, Portsmouth International Port’s passenger operations manager said: “We’ve been working hard over the last few years listening to the industry and creating facilities that are required to become a leading cruise port, which meets our focus on the small to medium sized, boutique, luxury, expedition market. “Investing in our infrastructure has been essential and we’re now in a position where we can accommodate larger vessels in the bracket of 300m on our primary berth, in addition we can look after smaller vessels on multiple berths. “Portsmouth lends itself effortlessly to the cruise market, from world-class attractions, to a major sheltered harbour close to the main shipping channels, making the city an appealing option for lines. “Our highly anticipated terminal extension is due to open this summer and we’re excited for the profile this will bring. Our approach is to set the bar high for passengers from the start of their adventure.”

Portsmouth is expecting  75 cruise ship calls in 2023.

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Portsmouth International Port Welcomes Its Largest Cruise Ship to Date

May 27, 2023 at 19:07 in Cruises and Tourism by Raghib Raza

Portsmouth International Port Welcomes Its Largest Cruise Ship to Date

MEIN SCHIFF 3 in FleetMon Explorer

On Friday, May 26th, 2023, the PORTSMOUTH International Port in the south of England proudly welcomed its largest cruise ship to date, the MEIN SCHIFF 3 , amidst great fanfare.

Previously, the record was held by Virgin Voyage's SCARLET LADY , a 277-meter-long ship that visited Portsmouth in 2021.

Operated by TUI Cruises, the MEIN SCHIFF 3 weighs 99,536 gross tons and measures 293 meters in length. It boasts accommodation for 2,500 passengers and approximately 1,000 crew members.

The ship remained docked at the port from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. This visit to Portsmouth marked the final destination in the itinerary of a 12-night round trip sailing from Bremerhaven, which included ports in Scotland, England, and Ireland. After its visit to Portsmouth, the MEIN SCHIFF will return to Bremerhaven on May 28th.

While the port of PORTSMOUTH is primarily known for its large naval and military installations, it has recently begun welcoming an increasing number of cruise ships. In 2023 alone, the port is scheduled to receive 75 cruise ship calls. Notable cruise lines that will visit Portsmouth include Seabourn Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Viking Cruises, Oceania Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, among others.

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MEIN SCHIFF 3

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Portsmouth welcomes its largest ever cruise ship into port

  • Monday 21 June 2021 at 12:30pm

210621-Virgin Voyage's Scarlet Lady

Portsmouth International Port has welcomed its largest ever cruise ship.  

All 277 metres of Virgin Voyage's Scarlet Lady breezed into the port on Monday morning (21 June).

She weighs 110,000 tonnes and has space for 3,000 passengers.

She will make her maiden voyage in August with several sailings around the UK. 

Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port's director said: "This is fantastic news for the city and the wider travel industry, with Virgin Voyages committing to launching a series of domestic cruises exclusively from Portsmouth for the UK market.

Watch: People cheer as Scarlet Lady heads into port

"We are in no doubt eyes of the world will be on Scarlet Lady's debut, but there is no better harbour than this one, famous for its legendary maritime journeys.

"It will be a spectacle like no other as the distinctive Scarlet Lady sails through the spectacular harbour entrance, we can be sure sailors and crew will experience a warm Portsmouth reception."

Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group. "Our team has curated such a fantastic experience for our Sailors and know this is a holiday they will love."

"Virgin Voyages has been looking forward to sailing, and we're so excited to announce our plans to sail from the UK."

Thermal imaging scanners will be used to check the temperature of staff and customers, while the terminal has also been reconfigured into a one-way flow system with reduced capacity and space for social distancing.

Face coverings are mandatory for those travelling through the terminal, and cleaning practices have been enhanced.

From 6 August there will be a minimum of six sailings, varying between three to four night stays, where Scarlet Lady will sail around the UK.

UK's largest cruise ship set to join the P&O fleet with Southampton ceremony

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Watch 'Majesty of the Sea' in action - the largest ship ever to dock in Portsmouth

The arrival 268metres cruise ship marks a huge and complex feat of engineering at Portsmouth International Port

  • 16:09, 10 JUL 2020

largest cruise ship portsmouth

This was the moment 268metre cruise ship Majesty of the Sea arrived in Portsmouth.

She is the largest ship ever to sail into Portsmouth and her arrival marks a huge and complex feat of engineering.

Completion of the port's multi-million pound berth extension means it can now manage larger ships, evidenced by Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, weighing in at over 73,000 GT in tonnage.

Mike Sellers Portsmouth International Port's 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're 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."

Investment in the port's infrastructure is part of an ambitious strategy to continue growth as a leading player in the maritime industry and one of the UK's most sustainable ports, bosses added.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

Ben McInnes Portsmouth International Port's harbour master said: "The redevelopment of our berth opens doors to ships not seen in Portsmouth before, as demonstrated by today's arrival. 

"This was comprehensive operation for the largest commercial ship we have seen, with two tugs and two pilots on board to make sure safety was at the forefront.

"Future passengers using our new berth will be spoilt by the sights the harbour provides, from historic vessels such as HMS Warrior, to the latest HMS Queen Elizabeth class carriers. 

"With these attractions and our new berth, we're on track to become a world class passenger facility and destination."

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.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

Hernan Zini Royal Caribbean International's vice president, port operations said:  “During these unprecedented times we’re glad we have ports such as Portsmouth whose investment has meant the ships that are unexpectedly in the region can use these facilities to ensure our ships are supplied and our crew are able to transfer home.

"We’re using several ports along the South Coast of England to support calls of all of our vessels and we look forward to welcoming guests back on soon”

Anisa Koci, Portsmouth International Port's project manager for the scheme said:"I am delighted and ever so proud to see Majesty of the Seas moored alongside our new extended berth here at Portsmouth International Port.

"The levelling and extension of No 2 berth alongside the installation of the new dolphin structure (approximately 30m offset seaside from dolphin No 2) has been a great project to deliver but at the same time has had many challenges to overpass.

"Gaining approval only in January 2019, this scheme was programme driven and this made it even more challenging. With only five months to sketch the project and appoint a contractor to then start the construction works in November 2019, it seems like a mirage seeing the largest ship we have ever had being alongside the new pier.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

"The new extended deck with the size of two football stadiums in length was constructed on top of tubular piles (30-60 tonne each) that were driven through by one of the largest hammers in UK. More than 1000 cubic metre concrete was poured on the extension of the pier to give the structure the required strength to approach ships the size of Majesty of the Seas.

"Undertaking the works in a live marine environment and during the winter months required a truly collaborative approach between Portsmouth International Port and Knights Brown to successfully deliver the project.

"The pandemic did hit this project even before reaching the UK as one of the critical elements of the scheme, the fenders, were being manufactured in Malaysia. This had a significant impact on the project programme of works.

"The robust, windy winter and the two storms in autumn did certainly extend the list of challenges, especially when essential parts of the project included heavyweight operations like the installation of the 61 tonne carousel structure at dolphin No 3 and the partial demolition and removal of the existing finger berth structure."

Bryan Kennedy, Divisional Director for Knights Brown said: “Little could we have foreseen the additional challenges we would be presented with when we were awarded the design and construct contract to lower and extend the berth in September.

"At that time the priority was completing the works ahead of the new cruise season. Although the reason changed, the urgency to complete the contract did not. Our team has delivered a technically challenging project despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic.

"I am particularly proud not only of our response to the exceptional circumstances but also our execution of the most challenging aspects. Notably lifting in the 60t prefabricated steel carousel structure, and deconstructing the capping beam with some sections being lifted out weighing as much as 70 tons. We’ve worked on two fronts simultaneously to minimise the programme with marine operations based off a spud leg barge, and worked with some pretty impressive equipment, including a 330t crawler crane, the largest hydraulic pile driving hammer in the UK, and a supply barge. On the landside, we had 160t and 80t crawler cranes.”

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "Our harbour has witnessed many historic moments, and the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, is yet another to add to the list.

"Portsmouth International Port is a vital economic driver for the city, making a valuable contribution towards essential services. 

"This investment and completion of the berth extension means more opportunities to welcome a range of ships, helping to support the city bounce back after the impact of the pandemic."

  • Portsmouth Harbour
  • Most Recent

largest cruise ship portsmouth

  • Largest Cruise Ship To Sail Into Portsmouth Marks Major Construction Milestone
  • VesselFinder
  • Maritime News

One of Portsmouth International Port 's most complex engineering projects, undertaken during a period of significant challenge, has resulted in welcoming the largest cruise ship to ever sail into Portsmouth with the arrival of   Royal Caribbean 's Majesty of the Seas on Friday 10 July. 

Largest Cruise Ship To Sail Into Portsmouth Marks Major Construction Milestone

Completion of the port's multi-million-pound berth extension means it can now manage larger ships, evidenced by Majesty of the Seas at 268m. 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's 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're 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."

Investment in the port's infrastructure is part of an ambitious strategy to continue growth as a leading player in the maritime industry and one of the UK's most sustainable ports.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

Ben McInnes Portsmouth International Port's harbour master said: "The redevelopment of our berth opens doors to ships not seen in Portsmouth before, as demonstrated by today's arrival.  "This was comprehensive operation for the largest commercial ship we have seen, with two tugs and two pilots on board to make sure safety was at the forefront. "Future passengers using our new berth will be spoilt by the sights the harbour provides, from historic vessels such as HMS Warrior, to the latest HMS Queen Elizabeth class carriers.  "With these attractions and our new berth, we're on track to become a world class passenger facility and destination."

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. 

Hernan Zini Royal Caribbean International's vice president, port operations said:  “During these unprecedented times we’re glad we have ports such as Portsmouth whose investment has meant the ships that are unexpectedly in the region can use these facilities to ensure our ships are supplied and our crew are able to transfer home. "We’re using several ports along the South Coast of England to support calls of all of our vessels and we look forward to welcoming guests back on soon” Anisa Koci, Portsmouth International Port's project manager for the scheme said :"I am delighted and ever so proud to see Majesty of the sea moored alongside our new extended Berth here at Portsmouth International Port.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

"The levelling and Extension of No 2 Berth alongside the installation of the new dolphin structure (approximately 30m offset seaside from Dolphin No 2) has been a great project to deliver but at the same time has had many challenges to overpass. "Gaining approval only in January 2019 this scheme was programme driven and this made it even more challenging. With only five month time to sketch the project and appoint a contractor for then to start the construction works in November 2019 it seems like a mirage seeing the largest ship we have ever had being alongside the new pier. "The new extended deck with the size of two football stadiums in length was constructed on top of tubular piles (30-60 tonne each) that were driven through by one of the largest hammer in UK. More than 1000 cubic metre concrete was poured on the extension of the pier to give the structure the required strength to approach ships to the size of Majesty of the sea. "Undertaking the works in a live marine environment and during the winter months required a truly collaborative approach between Portsmouth International Port and Knights Brown to successfully deliver the project. "The pandemic did hit this project even before UK as one of the critical elements of the scheme, the fenders were being manufactures in Malayisa. This had a significant impact on the project programme of works. "The robust, windy winter and the two storms In raw did certainly extend the list of challenges especially when essential parts of the project included heavyweight operations like the installation of the 61 tonne carousel structure at Dolphin No 3 and the partial demolition and removal of the existing finger berth structure."  Bryan Kennedy, Divisional Director for Knights Brown said: “Little could we have foreseen the additional challenges we would be presented with when we were awarded the design and construct contract to lower and extend the berth in September. "At that time the priority was completing the works ahead of the new cruise season. Although the reason changed, the urgency to complete the contract did not. Our team has delivered a technically challenging project despite the difficulties brought about by the pandemic. "I am particularly proud not only of our response to the exceptional circumstances but also our execution of the most challenging aspects. Notably lifting in the 60t prefabricated steel carousel structure, and deconstructing the capping beam with some sections being lifted out weighing as much as 70 tons. We’ve worked on two fronts simultaneously to minimise the programme with marine operations based off a spud leg barge, and worked with some pretty impressive equipment, including a 330t crawler crane, the largest hydraulic pile driving hammer in the UK, and a supply barge. On the landside, we had 160t and 80t crawler cranes.”  Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "Our harbour has witnessed many historic moments, and the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas, is yet another to add to the list. "Portsmouth International Port is a vital economic driver for the city, making a valuable contribution towards essential services.  "This investment and completion of the berth extension means more opportunities to welcome a range of ships, helping to support the city bounce back after the impact of the pandemic."

Source: Portsmouth

Additional information about the Port of Portsmouth at CruiseMapper

largest cruise ship portsmouth

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5 Things You May Not Know About the World’s Largest Cruise Ship — From Its $100K Stateroom to Record-Breaking Pools

Royal Caribbean’s ‘Icon of the Seas’ is almost ready to embark on its record-breaking maiden voyage on Jan. 27

Natalia Senanayake is an Editorial Assistant, Lifestyle at PEOPLE. She covers all things travel and home, from celebrities' luxury mansions to breaking travel news.

largest cruise ship portsmouth

Royal Caribibean

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is making waves in more ways than one. 

Not only does it hold the title of world’s largest cruise ship to date, but it also boasts a number of next-level features that the average cruiser may not know about. Though it doesn't embark on its official maiden voyage until Jan. 27, PEOPLE got a sneak peek of the ship on its first-ever preview sailing and uncovered some lesser known facts about the biggest vessel at sea. 

Here are five things you might not know about Royal Caribbean’s larger-than-life ship, Icon of the Seas.

The Most Expensive Stateroom Costs $100,000 a Week

Believe it or not, the most expensive (and spacious!) room on the ship, the Ultimate Family Townhouse, costs roughly $100,000 for a full seven-night sailing. The three-level room has everything families need to experience the best vacation, including an indoor slide and direct access to Surfside – Royal Caribbean’s first neighborhood designed specifically for families.

The 2,523-square-foot lodging can fit up to eight people and features two private decks. Families can lounge together at one of the deck’s hot tubs or enjoy a game of table tennis outside. The room is so spectacular that it’s already booked for the whole year, but cruisers can still have a look at the other staterooms, including the least expensive Interior Plus room which costs about $3,600 a week.

It’s Five Times Bigger Than the Titanic

Royal Caribibean, PA/PA Wire

In comparison to the RMS Titanic , the largest ship of its time before it sank in 1912, Icon of the Seas is approximately five times bigger with a gross tonnage of 250,800 (the Titanic weighed 46,328 tons).

Icon also features 20 decks, 2,805 staterooms and it can hold up to 7,600 guests. Depending on the deck, it takes about six minutes to walk from one end to the other. However it’s best to add a minute or two onto that to stop and chat with the friendly crew members or marvel at the stunning ocean views. 

There Are Seven Pools on Board

While Icon of the Seas is breaking another record by offering the largest waterpark at sea (Category 6), it’s also hitting even more firsts thanks to the seven pools it has on board. Royal Bay, the most expansive pool at sea, is made up of 40,000 gallons of water. 

Another great pool to check out is the first suspended infinity pool at sea, The Hideaway, which is located in the Chill Island neighborhood. Though not suspended, the Water’s Edge Pool offers similar ocean views and is family-friendly with the Splashaway Bay and Baby Bay pool areas nearby. 

Last but not least, there’s also the Swim & Tonic swim-up bar pool, adult-only Cove and Cloud 17 pools and the exclusive private pool in the Suite Neighborhood.

The Max Speed It Can Travel Is 28 mph

During the preview sailing, Captain Henrik Loy , shared a breakdown of the ship’s speed while giving an exclusive tour of the vessel’s bridge. He explained that the ship can reach a speed of about 24 knots (28 mph) which is very fast and not needed for this type of trip. 

At that moment, the captain confirmed that the ship was cruising at about 11 knots (13 mph) which was slower than usual. On Royal Caribbean’s official website , the cruise line says that the average cruising speed is about 18 to 20 knots (20 to 23 mph) depending on the ship and itinerary.

You May Feel the Ship Rocking

For those who aren’t regular cruisers, it’s important to note that you will still feel movement on the ship even though it’s massive. If the ocean is particularly rough during your sailing it’s possible the ship will feel so rocky that you lose your balance. To avoid potential seasickness, it’s best to book a stateroom towards the middle of the ship where less movement is felt.

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KTLA-TV Los Angeles

World’s largest cruise ship finally hits the high seas

The world’s largest cruise ship set sail on Saturday from the Port of Miami.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is nearly 1,200 feet (365 meters) from bow to stern.

The ship, which embarked on its first seven-day island-hopping voyage through the tropics, was officially christened Tuesday with help from soccer legend  Lionel Messi  and his Inter Miami teammates.

“Icon of the Seas is the culmination of more than 50 years of dreaming, innovating and living our mission – to deliver the world’s best vacation experiences responsibly,” Royal Caribbean Group President and CEO Jason Liberty said earlier this week. “She is the ultimate multigenerational family vacation, forever changing the status quo in family travel and fulfilling vacation dreams for all ages on board.”

The Icon of the Seas is divided into eight neighborhoods across 20 decks. The ship includes six waterslides, seven swimming pools, an ice skating rink, a theater and more than 40 restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship can carry up to 7,600 passengers at maximum capacity, along with 2,350 crew members.

When the Icon of the Seas was first revealed in October 2022, the ship spurred the single largest booking day and the highest volume booking week in Royal Caribbean’s then 53-year history, according to the cruise line.

It is powered by six dual-fuel engines, which can be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel alternative that the  Cruise Lines International Association  says reduces sulfur and greenhouse gas emissions. However, some environmentalists worry LNG-powered ships increase  methane emissions . Other say that vacationers generate  eight times more carbon  on a cruise than they do on land.

Royal Caribbean says every kilowatt used on the Icon of the Seas “is scrutinized for energy efficiencies and emission reductions.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KTLA.

Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, sets sail from PortMiami on its first public cruise, as seen from Miami Beach, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Portsmouth Port logo

Great discoveries start here

Cruise schedule.

Please be advised that the cruise ship schedule is provisional, and is subject to alteration without prior notice. Please see  arrivals and departures  for daily vessel movements.

Under ‘Call type’, a call is where a vessel and its passengers visit the port, spending a day or sometimes more in Portsmouth . A  turnround is when passengers leave after finishing a cruise, and then a new set of passengers join for another cruise.

A disembark is where passengers only leave the vessel, and an embark is where a passenger just join the vessel .   Technical indicates when a vessel visits the port for stores, crew changes or a berthing trial.

Last updated: 30/01/2024

Watch: A look at world's largest cruise ship as it leaves Port of Miami

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The world's largest cruise ship has set sail from Miami, Florida, on its maiden voyage.

The 365m-long (1,197 ft) Icon of the Seas has 20 decks and can house a maximum of 7,600 passengers. It is owned by Royal Caribbean Group.

The vessel is going on a seven-day island-hopping voyage in the tropics.

But environmentalists warn that the liquefied natural gas-powered ship will leak harmful methane into the air.

  • Subsection World
  • Published 3 days ago
  • CruiseMapper
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  • Ireland - UK - British Isles Cruise Ports

Portsmouth UK (England)

Cruise port schedule, live map, terminals, news.

Portsmouth UK cruise port

Region Ireland - UK - British Isles

Local Time 2024-01-31 11:53

Port Portsmouth UK cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Portsmouth UK, England. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

Portsmouth is a large ferry port located on Portsea Island in Hampshire (England UK). The city is located approx 70 mi (110 km) southwest of London and approx 19 mi (31 km) southeast of Southampton . Portsmouth is UK's only island city. Its population is around 205,000 (metro around 1,55 million).

Portsmouth (England) cruise port

Portsmouth is the homeport of the British Royal Navy, having here around 3/4 of UK's fleet. Here is also homeported UK's new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth/QE and HMS Prince of Wales/POW . UK's ever largest warships (building cost GBP 6,2 billion for both units) dock at Portsmouth Naval Base's Princess Royal Jetty. QE first berthed on August 16, 2017, POW - on November 16, 2019. By a GBP 100 million contract were redeveloped naval port's facilities in order to be able to support both new aircraft carriers.

Portsmouth Harbour's waterfront is dominated by Spinnaker Tower (one of the UK's tallest / 560 ft / 170 m). Nearby is the Southsea (resort and premium residential area) featuring a pier-located amusement park. Portsmouth cruise port is located near the Historic Naval Dockyard. The passenger terminal is easily accessible from London by both rail and road. Portsmouth's ferry port serves both passenger and cargo vessels,

Portsmouth Naval Dockyard employs ~10% of the city's workforce, ranking it the city's biggest industry. In the city are headquartered the companies BAE Systems (major navy contractor), IBM, Zurich Financial Services.

In 2023, Portsmouth Port had scheduled a total of 83 cruise ship calls/booked berthings with expected ~97000 passengers (a triple increase over 2022's 35000 tourists) and largest vessel  Mein Schiff 3 ( TUI ). In 2024, the number of calls grew to 90 (expected ~155000 tourists) with largest vessel Norwegian Star ( NCL ).

Port Portsmouth (England)

Portsmouth International Port (aka Portsmouth Continental Ferry Port/locode GBPME) owned and operated by Portsmouth City Council. This is a cargo port and a Royal Navy port, as well as a cruiseferry terminal serving regularly scheduled daily departures and arrivals of ferries (RO-PAX vessels) and cruise ships. Most berth bookings are for English Channel crossings (between England and France).

The two ferry companies homeporting vessels here are Brittany Ferries and Condor Ferries .

  • Truck drivers must check-in at least 2 hours prior to departure.
  • All vehicle drivers must wear high-visibility clothing when leaving the vehicle.
  • The speed limit within the port is 20 mph (30 kph). Using mobile phones when driving in the port is forbidden.
  • Overnight lorry parking and 24-hour bunkering are available at port's Truckstop and Lorry Park. Exclusively for truck drivers, inside the ferry terminal building are available WC-showers, cafe bar, diner, shop.

From Portsmouth, Brittany Ferries serve the routes to France - Ouistreham-Caen (3 daily crossings, time 6 hours), Cherbourg (time 3 hours and 5 hours), Le Havre (1 daily crossing, time 5,5 hours) and Saint-Malo (1 daily crossing, time 9-11 hours / day-overnight). Brittany Ferries also link Portsmouth with Spain - Zierbena-Bilbao (3 weekly return crossings, time 24-32 hours) and Santander (3 weekly return crossings, time 24-26 hours). Brittany Ferries homeport here 4 newbuild E-FLEXER ships ( Galicia , Salamanca , Saint-Malo , Guillaume de Normandie ).

As of 2019, it annually handles 1,85+ million ferry passengers, ranking it one of the UK's most popular crossing routes to France and Spain.

From Portsmouth, Condor Ferries serves exclusively the UK-Channel Islands routes to Saint Helier (Jersey Island) and Saint Peter Port (Guernsey Island) . The service includes all 12 (2x6) weekly crossings, with travel time, respectively, 10,5-8,5 hours (outbound-return) and 6,5-12,5 hours (outbound-return).

As cruise port, Portsmouth also serves passenger liners operating on itineraries in Northern Europe, including around Britain (British Isles), Norway (Norwegian Fjords), Scandinavia and Russia/ Sankt-Petersburg . Among these top-luxury cruise companies are Saga UK , Ponant , Phoenix Reisen , Viking OCEAN , Swan Hellenic , Virgin . The boats are small- to medium-sized.

In August 2018, was officially opened the Port's new linkspan. The GBP 9 million drawbridge allows cars and trucks to be loaded/offloaded (on and off) the ferries. Port's current freight capacity is around 900,000 wheeled units. Also in 2018 were invested around GBP 11 million in port infrastructure and facilities upgrades.

Port Portsmouth has the following major facilities:

  • 2 commercial wharves (ship docking berths), 5 cruiseferry berths
  • 8-hectare / 20-acre covered warehouse for imported fruits and vegetables (new complex, GBP 25 million)
  • Specialized temperature-controlled warehouse/packing house (for imported fresh produce)
  • 60 forklifts (powered industrial trucks) on site, new gantry cranes, new warehouses (completed in 2012)
  • Quay draft (water depth) is 9,5 m (31 ft) allowing flexible docking regardless of tides
  • Customs Agency, Ship Agency

Cargo handling (via partnership with Mainland Market Deliveries Ltd) is provided at Flathouse Quay (length 190 m) and Albert Johnson Quay (285 m). Major berth expansion projects were completed in 2001 (Berth 5 / new), 2009 (Berths 3-4), 2012 and 2018-2020 (Berth 2). The new (GBP 16,5 million) ferry terminal was inaugurated in May 2011.

For FY2018-19 (fiscal year), the port authority company MMD Shipping Services Ltd (rebranded in 2019 to Portico) reported a loss of GBP 5,8 million.

In 2019, the cruise port had scheduled 50 ship calls with estimated ~50,000 passengers. Following the completion of Cruise Berth 2's expansion (2020-Q1), the Port expects annual passenger capacity 150,000+ (100+ ship calls per year). Among the major cruise companies visiting Portsmouth UK are Viking Ocean , Ponant , Saga UK , Phoenix Reisen , Fred Olsen UK , Hapag-Lloyd , Silversea , Quark Expeditions , Noble Calendonia, FTI Kreuzfahrten, Sea Cloud.

Virgin Voyages started operations in Portsmouth in 2021 with Scarlet Lady .

In October 2021, Portsmouth City Council approved a plan for shoreside power connectivity at Portsmouth International Port. The technology allows berthed vessels (ferries and cruisers) to switch off their diesel engines (generating electricity for onboard services) and instead use/connect to the city's power grid. The Port's project also features battery storage for providing electricity to smaller ships. In February 2023 was announced a deal with SSEN (Scottish and Southern Energy Networks/2000-founded subsidiary of SSE plc) for the cruise shore-power project (scheduled for completion in 2025) and SSEN will provide an initial supply of 15MVA.

In 2022, at Portsmouth International Port was installed a solar-and-battery system incorporating solar panels and large-capacity batteries for electricity storage. The system is based on a total of 2660 solar panels (providing ~35% of the Port’s power use) and a 1,5 MWh battery system. The solar panels are roof-mounted on all buildings as well as on large dockside canopies (also providing shade for the parked cars waiting for the ferries).

In August 2023 became operational Portsmouth International Port's solar power system. It consists of a total of 2660 solar panels (mounted on the roofs of several buildings) and high-capacity battery storage. The installation has max capacity 1,2 MW (panels) and 1,3 MW (batteries), which is ~1/3rd (35%) of the Port's electricity. When not used, the generated renewable energy/electricity is exported to the city's power network.

Portsmouth UK cruise terminal

Portsmouth cruise ferry terminal building was constructed in the period February 2010 - February 2011 (officially opened on May 13). The size of the building is 2700 m2 (29100 ft2) with 800 m2 (8600 ft2) glass facade.

Portsmouth (England) cruise port map (printable)

The building cost GBP 16,5 million and was designed to be environment friendly. It is heated and cooled by seawater thermal energy, which reduces its carbon footprint. Potable water consumption is also reduced by using seawater for toilet flushing. The Terminal's ventilation is via windcatchers installed on the roof. Amenities include a large check-in hall, baggage-handling area, Currency Exchange, shop, Costa Coffee, Bar Lounge, outdoor terrace.

The cruiseferry terminal is conveniently located near 3 major international airports - London-Heathrow (66 mi / 106 km), London-Gatwick (80 mi / 129 km) and Southampton (20 mi / 32 km).

Portsmouth cruiseferry terminal

Portsmouth International Port estimates now an annual cruise passenger capacity of ~250,000, following the completion (in 2020) of a multi-million "Cruise Berth 2" expansion project that allows now docking to larger-sized cruise ships (with max LOA length 255 m / 837 ft).

The construction works were conducted in the period November 2019 through April 2020 by Knights Brown (Ringwood England-based construction company specializing in civil engineering and building). The berth's concrete deck extension was constructed over tubular piles (30-60 tons each). For the structure were used 1000+ m3 concrete. The project also included leveling works and adding a dolphin (fixed and permanent mooring structure) that is separate to the pier and acts as a docking extension.

The first (Portsmouth's largest-ever) cruise liner - the 268-m/880-ft long Majesty of the Seas ( RCI-Royal Caribbean ) - moored on July 10, 2021.

On May 30, 2022, Knights Brown started the construction on the cruise terminal building's extension. The project received funding (GBP 11,25 million/~EUR 13,22M/~USD 14,2M) from the UK's Levelling Up Fund, and created 2500+ British jobs (including 550 in Portsmouth). The new facilities include Sky Garden (roof-top terrace), walkway (from the current terminal to the new check-in area), interior living plant walls, bar lounge, baggage hall.

In 2003 was opened a new, multi-story car parking facility. Parking fees are as follows:

  • Up to 2 hrs: £3
  • Up to 4 hrs: £6
  • Up to 8 hrs: £9
  • Up to 24 hrs: £12
  • Up to 48 hrs: £20, thereafter £10 for every 24 hrs.

Portsmouth UK tours, shore excursions, hotels

City tours and shore excursions.

  • Southsea Seafront: beautiful open space, great for the family. You can have a picnic and enjoy the gardens with flowers and plants or visit the Southsea Castle, the Pyramids Center, or the Reef Aquarium.
  • Blue Reef Aquarium: located on Clarence Esplanade, on the Southsea seafront.
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: visit the Mary Rose Museum and discover the historic HMS Warrior 1860 and HMS Victory. Located in HM Naval Base at Victory Gate.
  • Spinnaker Tower: the tallest structure accessible to the public outside of London. You will be amazed by the Portsmouth Harbour view at Gunwharf Quays.
  • Gunwarf Quays: complex for entertainment and retail at the Portsmouth Harbour. Find a lot of bars, restaurants and designers shops. You can spend some time in the cinema or play bowling.
  • Charles Dickens Birthplace: one of the greatest writers in the world was born in Portsmouth in 1812 on the 7th of February. It is located in Landport at 1 Mile End Terrace. The museum works from May to September and on February 7th.
  • D Day Museum: dates from 1984. It commemorates D Day anniversary and you can see the Overlord Embroidery. It is 272 ft Bayeux Tapestry equivalent. Located on Clarence Esplanade.
  • Fort Nelson: in the 1860s Lord Palmerston built the City Defenses. Fort Nelson is a part of them. You can see nearly 400 cannons and guns at the Royal Armouries collection. Located on Portsdown Hill Road.

Portsmouth UK sets record with 90 cruise ships in 2024

Portsmouth UK sets record with 90 cruise ships in 2024

Following the publication of the latest cruise schedule, Portsmouth International Port (England UK) anticipates the arrival of 90 ships in 2024...

Wightlink's ferry St Faith suffers fire accident at Portsmouth Harbour UK

Wightlink's ferry St Faith suffers fire accident at Portsmouth Harbour UK

In a prompt reaction to an alert from the crew of the St Faith ferry (1990-built, IMO 8907228), multiple emergency services were deployed to the...

Brittany Ferries' cruiseferry Normandie debuts in Ireland

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100 passengers on SAGA's Spirit of Discovery injured during distressing incident in the Bay of Biscay

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SAGA's Spirit of Adventure ship forced to divert to Cornwall due to Storm Ciaran

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Cruise ship calls in Southampton UK are back to pre-COVID levels

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Virgin Voyages' newest ship Brilliant Lady launch delayed due to supply chain & staffing issues

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Virgin Voyages returns to Portsmouth UK in 2024

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Portsmouth UK - user reviews and comments

IMAGES

  1. Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Is Largest Ever to Enter British Port

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

  2. Largest Cruise Ship To Sail Into Portsmouth Marks Major Construction

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

  3. Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady becomes the largest cruise ship ever to

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

  4. Largest cruise ship to ever dock at Portsmouth sails into port

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

  5. Largest cruise ship to sail into Portsmouth marks major construction

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

  6. Portsmouth welcomes biggest ship ever into city's harbour after huge

    largest cruise ship portsmouth

COMMENTS

  1. Portsmouth prepares to welcome Mein Schiff 3

    The current record-holder for the largest ship in the harbour is Virgin Voyages' Scarlett Lady at 277m, which spent much of the summer of 2021 in Portsmouth. Mein Schiff 3 is also due to...

  2. British Port Welcomes Its Largest-Ever Cruise Ship

    On Friday, May 26, TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 3 became the largest ever passenger vessel to sail into the port. Weighing in at 99,536 gross tons and measuring 962 feet (293 meters) in length, the...

  3. TUI's Mein Schiff 3 arrives and it's the largest cruise ship ...

    TUI's Mein Schiff 3 arrives and it's the largest cruise ship EVER to visit Portsmouth Meridian cruise Tourism Hampshire Friday 26 May 2023, 7:54am James Dunham Reporter, ITV News Meridian...

  4. Mein Schiff 3: Longest ship to enter Portsmouth Harbour arrives

    TUI Travel Cruise ships Portsmouth Mein Schiff 3 is 294m long - beating the previous record set by Virgin's 277m-long Valiant Lady.

  5. Mein Schiff 3: Largest Ship Ever to Sail into Portsmouth

    TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 3 is the largest ship ever to sail into Portsmouth (UK) harbor, according to a press release. Measuring 293.3 meters in length, the ship arrived on May 26 carrying 2,400 passengers. Portsmouth International Port's director Mike Sellers said: "We've seen many major milestones in our ambitions….

  6. Drone captures moment longest ship to visit Portsmouth arrives

    Mein Schiff 3, which has more than 2,000 German passengers onboard, is 965ft (294m) long - beating the record set by Virgin's 909ft-long (277m) Valiant Lady. The £291m (€360m) TUI vessel, named...

  7. Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Is Largest Ever to Enter British Port

    Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas becomes the largest ever cruise ship to enter Portsmouth International Port in the UK. The vessel arrived on July 10 and marks a new record for the port ...

  8. Largest cruise ship to sail into Portsmouth Harbour marks major

    One of Portsmouth International Port's most complex engineering projects, undertaken during a period of significant challenge, has resulted in welcoming the largest cruise ship to ever sail into Portsmouth with the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas on Friday 10 July.

  9. TUI cruise vessel becomes largest ship to ever sail into the harbour

    Portsmouth harbour has been the backdrop of many spectacles, today (Friday 26 May) it was the turn of cruise line TUI, as their ship Mein Schiff 3 took the title of largest ship ever to sail into the city. Measuring 293.3m in length and weighing 99,536 in gross tonnage TUI cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 takes the accolade of the largest ship to ever ...

  10. Tui cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 due to set record for largest ship to

    Tui cruise ship Mein Schiff 3 due to set record for largest ship to visit Portsmouth when it visits this year A SUPERSIZE cruise ship is due to visit Portsmouth - breaking the...

  11. Portsmouth welcomes biggest ship ever to city as cruise liner sails

    A HUGE cruise ship - the largest vessel ever to sail into Portsmouth - has arrived at the city's international port after a multi-million pound upgrade to the transport hub's facilities. By...

  12. Portsmouth International Port Welcomes Its Largest Cruise Ship to Date

    On Friday, May 26th, 2023, the PORTSMOUTH International Port in the south of England proudly welcomed its largest cruise ship to date, the MEIN SCHIFF 3, amidst great fanfare. Previously, the record was held by Virgin Voyage's SCARLET LADY, a 277-meter-long ship that visited Portsmouth in 2021. Operated by TUI Cruises, the MEIN SCHIFF 3 weighs ...

  13. Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady becomes the largest cruise ship ever to

    Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady becomes the largest cruise ship ever to dock in Portsmouth, England UK June 23, 2021 , Cruise Industry A new record was set in Portsmouth Harbour (England UK) as Virgin Voyages ' MS Scarlet Lady became the largest ever cruise ship to dock in the International Port.

  14. Portsmouth welcomes its largest ever cruise ship into port

    cruise. Monday 21 June 2021, 12:30pm. Virgin Voyage's Scarlet Lady Credit: @PortsmouthProud. Portsmouth International Port has welcomed its largest ever cruise ship. All 277 metres of Virgin ...

  15. Watch the largest ship ever to dock in Portsmouth in action

    Video Loading. This was the moment 268metre cruise ship Majesty of the Sea arrived in Portsmouth. She is the largest ship ever to sail into Portsmouth and her arrival marks a huge and complex feat of engineering. Completion of the port's multi-million pound berth extension means it can now manage larger ships, evidenced by Royal Caribbean's ...

  16. Largest Cruise Ship To Sail Into Portsmouth Marks Major Construction

    One of Portsmouth International Port's most complex engineering projects, undertaken during a period of significant challenge, has resulted in welcoming the largest cruise ship to ever sail into Portsmouth with the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas on Friday 10 July.. Completion of the port's multi-million-pound berth extension means it can now manage larger ships, evidenced by ...

  17. Largest cruise ship to ever dock at Portsmouth sails into port

    The Scarlet Lady is the largest ship to have ever docked in Portsmouth. (PA Images via Getty Images) An 110,000 tonne cruise ship which is the biggest to ever dock in Portsmouth...

  18. TUI's Mein Schiff 3 becomes the largest cruise ship ever to call at

    The arrival of TUI's Mein Schiff 3, a massive cruise ship measuring 294 m / 964 ft in length, marks a significant moment for a coastal city.The vessel, carrying ~2000 passengers from Germany, arrived in Portsmouth England from Liverpool, at ~5:30 am on Friday, May 26th.The ship has been on a 12-day roundtrip from Bremerhaven.. The Schiff 3's size is remarkable, surpassing both Virgin's Scarlet ...

  19. Royal Caribbean's 'Icon,' world's largest cruise ship, sets sail

    The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, set sail from Miami on its maiden voyage Saturday, carrying what amounted to the population of a small city.At 2,000 feet long (365 meters), the Icon will be taking the title of world's largest from a Royal Caribbean stable-mate, the slightly smaller Wonder of the Seas. bbk/acb.

  20. Huge luxury cruise ship to become largest ship ever to enter port

    Lifestyle Norwegian Star: Huge cruise liner to become largest ship ever to enter Portsmouth International Port - when A humungous cruise liner will soon become the largest ship ever...

  21. Things You May Not Know About the World's Largest Cruise Ship

    Royal Caribibean, PA/PA Wire. In comparison to the RMS Titanic, the largest ship of its time before it sank in 1912, Icon of the Seas is approximately five times bigger with a gross tonnage of ...

  22. World's largest cruise ship finally hits the high seas

    The world's largest cruise ship set sail on Saturday from the Port of Miami. Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas is nearly 1,200 feet (365 meters) from bow to stern. The ship, which embarked on ...

  23. Cruise schedule

    Please be advised that the cruise ship schedule is provisional, and is subject to alteration without prior notice. Please see arrivals and departures for daily vessel movements. Under 'Call type', a call is where a vessel and its passengers visit the port, spending a day or sometimes more in Portsmouth. A turnround is when passengers leave after finishing a cruise, and then a new set of ...

  24. When Portsmouth will welcome largest ship ever to enter harbour

    The largest ship ever to sail into Portsmouth will soon be coming to the city. ... Mein Schiff 3, a cruise vessel which is 293.8m long, will be the biggest ship ever to visit the harbour.

  25. Watch: A look at world's largest cruise ship as it leaves Port of Miami

    The world's largest cruise ship has set sail from Miami, Florida, on its maiden voyage. The 365m-long (1,197 ft) Icon of the Seas has 20 decks and can house a maximum of 7,600 passengers. It is ...

  26. Portsmouth UK (England) cruise port schedule

    38 °F / 4 °C Port Map Schedule Wiki Hotels News Port Portsmouth UK cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Portsmouth UK, England.

  27. Portsmouth Travel: Port set for biggest cruise season ever as dozens of

    Published 2nd Jan 2024, 14:35 GMT Updated 2nd Jan 2024, 14:35 GMT Watch more of our videos on Shots! and live on Freeview channel 276 Visit Shots! now Portsmouth International Port has released...