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Portsmouth Takes You There

Great voyages start here

Planning for the future

Portsmouth International Port is the UK’s most successful council-owned port. We are already considered to be a major UK port, and our continued commercial success means that we contributed £7.8m to Portsmouth City Council’s budget this year.

However, the city’s enviable location, connection to major transport routes, and capacity, means there is an opportunity to grow the cruise offer and shipping offer. In 2018, Portsmouth welcomed 48 calls and is looking to grow every year, with an ambition to reach over 100. This is as both a turnaround port, where ships take guests away on holiday, and a port of call, where ships visit a particular city as part of their itinerary.

This year is also important for the port’s customer Brittany Ferries and the arrival of their state-of-the-art environmentally friendly ship the Honfleur, followed by a further two more ships in 2021. It is a critical priority for us to replace the 30-year-old passenger boarding tower, which is required to get onto the ships.

To help us to achieve these aims, £33m of development funding for the port has been agreed by Portsmouth City Council. This funding will allow us to carry essential levelling work to take place on the cruise berth, which would mean that the port could accommodate many more cruise lines who find the current layout challenging.

We’ll now be able to make changes to the current terminal building to handle cruise and ferry passengers more efficiently, and build appropriate walkway access for passengers to the ship. The funding will also enable us to construct a new passenger boarding tower, which will be built to modern, industry standards.

The remainder of the funding will be used to upgrade the facilities available at our sister site, MMD Shipping Services, to enable them to increase the amount and types of cargo they can handle.

Portsmouth International Port facts         

  • Portsmouth City Council has owned the port since 1839.
  • Most successful municipal port in the UK
  • Second busiest ferry port in the country
  • Most routes to Europe than any other port – best connected port
  • Portsmouth serves the western routes into Europe and is also often the ferry port of choice for businesses exporting from the western half of the UK - as an example we have businesses using our ferry port to export fish from Scotland to Spain.
  • 4.6m passengers including IOW ferries, 2m to continental Europe
  • 250,000 freight movements
  • Contribution to the council’s budget 2017/18 just under £8m
  • Annual turnover of over £33m, £4.9 million net profit in 2017/18, which translates into a £1.6m profit in comparison to the previous year.