While four and five cruise ships have become the norm in the Port of Southampton over the past few years, it’s very rare to get six in one day or even seven but that is what will happen over the weekend of 2nd June.
In the old days of the liners, it was a pretty normal occurrence as ships turnarounds were a few days, instead of usually in and out the same day as they do today.
The first six ships in port in modern times was the 5th January 2011. Then there were two Cunards (Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth), two Fred Olsen (Black Watch and Balmoral), one P&O (Arcadia) and one Saga (Saga Ruby).
Six months later, on the 16th July, there was another one. Then Balmoral was part of it again but joined by Celebrity Eclipse, Grand Princess, Artania, Crown Princess and Ventura.
Saga Ruby was an unscheduled part of another six on the 10th January 2013 due to having engine trouble, delaying her final world cruise, so was in berth 40 to be repaired. That day, Queen Mary 2, Black Watch, Ventura, Queen Victoria and Rotterdam.
Balmoral and Black Watch became part of another gathering on the 17th May 2014, the third for each. The others being Independence of the Seas. Aurora, MSC Opera and Oceana.
The only time in recent years there have been seven ships, was for P&O’s Grand Event on the 3rd July 2012, which celebrated their 175th anniversary.
And so one of the busiest weekends of the year which includes two debuts – Silver Explorer and Seven Seas Explorer. Seven Seas Explorer is the newest and most luxurious ship in the Regent Cruises fleet, entering service last year. Silversea Explorer has had many names since entering serving in 1989, After being bought by Silversea in 2007, she was first known as Prince Albert II, after Prince Albert of Monaco, and is an expedition ship usually calling at Portsmouth. Meanwhile, Queen Victoria would be returning from refit where she had cabins added to the stern. She would occupy the QEII Terminal after Seven Seas Explorer departed.
The ships will be as follows:
Friday 2nd June
Aurora (7am-4.30am – berth 106)
Marina (5am-6pm – berth 38/9)
Navigator of the Seas (5am-4.30pm – berth 101)
Norwegian Jade (6.30am-8pm – berth 46)
Silver Explorer (arrives (6am for an overnight stay – berth 104)
Silver Whisper (arrives 7am for an overnight stay – berth 102)
Saturday 3rd June
Crown Princess (7am-5pm – berth 38/9)
Independence of the Seas (5.15am-4.30pm – berth 101)
Queen Victoria (arrives 6.45pm – 38/9)
Seven Seas Explorer (6.30am-9pm – berth 106)
Silver Explorer (sails 5am – berth 104)
Silver Whisper (sails 10pm – berth 102)
Ventura (6.30am-5pm – berth 46)
Sunday 4th June
Azura (6.30am-4.30pm – berth 106)
Black Watch (4am-9am – berth 102)
Britannia (6.15am-6pm – berth 46)
Celebrity Eclipse (5.30am-4.30pm – berth 101)
Queen Victoria (sails 4.30pm – berth 38/9)
Bring on the ships!