Port terminal operators SCH have expanded their cruise ship business in Southampton for 2017 by securing the stevedoring and other ship support services for calls by Silversea Cruises.
The addition of the ultra luxury Silversea ships to SCH’s portfolio means the port services company will handle some 100 cruise ship calls in Southampton during this year.
Silversea Cruises will make 11 calls in Southampton during 2017, offering cruises round Britain and to Northern and Western Europe on its small, exclusive vessels Silver Whisper, Silver Explorer, Silver Muse and Silver Wind. The 40,700 tonnes Silver Muse, with accommodation for just under 600 guests, will make her debut in Southampton after being built in Italy. She is due to enter service in the Spring and will make her maiden Southampton calls in September.
SCH will provide baggage, storing and mooring services during the ships’ visits to Southampton.
Cruise Operation Manager Glen Gardner explained: “Silversea Cruises are a prestigious addition to the fleet of ships that we handle in Southampton. By tailoring our services to the individual requirements of our cruise customers, we are growing our market share of cruise business in the port, both in stevedoring and valet car parking.”
SCH’s other major cruise customers in Southampton are Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Saga Cruises and Azamara Cruises. The company also provides cruise services at various other ports throughout the UK.
Port terminal operators SCH expect one of their busiest Southampton cruise ship seasons for many years in 2017 by handling around 100 ship calls, with more than half under the umbrella of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL).
It will be the third successive year that SCH has provided port handling services for Royal Caribbean International (RCI), with Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas based in the port from April to October. Ship operations will mean turnarounds of some 8,000 passengers, with SCH providing mooring, baggage and stores handling.
In addition, SCH will handle nearly 20 turnaround calls with additional Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd brands Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, along with day calls in Southampton by TUI Cruises Mein Schiff vessels.
SCH Cruise Operations Manager Glen Gardner explained: “We are committed to emulating the excellent performance we produced in 2016 to ensure that RCL passengers enjoy a smooth, seamless turnaround. With so many passengers, the calls by Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas are major operations but we now have well established patterns at the port’s City Cruise Terminal that deliver the high levels of service RCL passengers expect.”
Independence of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas will be operating a wide range of itineraries from Southampton, primarily on a fortnightly basis, that include the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Canaries, Baltic and the Norwegian fjords.
In addition, SCH will handle Southampton calls of Saga Cruises and Silversea Cruises, the latter a new addition to its 2017 business. The cruise ship handlers also provide similar cruise ship services at ports throughout the UK including Liverpool and Portsmouth.
SCH has helped Southampton to be named as the UK’s best departure port for cruise passengers for the second year running.
The annual Wave awards recognise the best in the cruise industry and also among the major winners was Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL), which SCH services in Southampton. Royal Caribbean picked up the awards for Best Ocean Cruise Line, Best New Ship Launch (Harmony of the Seas) and Best Family Cruise Line.
SCH will service some 100 cruise ship calls in Southampton this year, with more than half under the umbrella of RCL.
Cruise Operations Manager Glen Gardner commented: “We are delighted to have made a contribution to Southampton again proving to be the top UK cruising departure port. We were also delighted to help make the maiden call of both RCL’s Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas such a success and look forward to providing RCL with another first class service for the coming season.”