SCH has handled the first of more than 50 calls by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) in Southampton this year after the initial arrival of the Independence of the Seas.

The debut season call by the 154,000 tonnes ship saw her re-positioned in Europe from Florida with some 4,000 passengers disembarking. A similar number boarded for a mini-cruise to Northern Europe.

Independence of the Seas will be joined by RCI’s Navigator of the Seas on regular calls in Southampton throughout the 2017 cruise season, operating a wide range of itineraries that include the Mediterranean, northern Europe, the Canaries, Baltic and the Norwegian fjords.

It will be the third successive year that SCH has carried out direct port handling services, including mooring, baggage and stores handling, for Royal Caribbean International (RCI), along with other RCCL brands Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises.

SCH Cruise Operations Manager Glen Gardner explained: “Our cruise ship business is growing and we are committed to providing a smooth and seamless turnaround for ships calling in Southampton. That demands an expert team dedicated to individual customers and our tailor made service for customers like RCCL sets us apart. We have well established patterns at the port’s City Cruise Terminal that deliver the high levels of service RCCL passengers expect.”


SCH is backing Robert Smith, the Technical Manager of its motorcycle preparation centre in Sywell, to be a success on the track this summer as he makes his debut racing in the Thundersport GB club’s GP1 Freshman class.

BMW bikes are a labour of love for Robert because he also helps look after the fleet of press bikes that operate out of BMW HQ in Farnborough as well as assisting the aftersales department in the office.

Having competed in motorcycle drag racing in the past and taken part in many track days, Robert has taken on a new challenge by joining the Thundersport GB series on his BMW S1000RR 2011.

He has made an excellent start to the season coming first in his class of four races in the second round of the series at Donnington Park and repeating the performance in the next round at Snettterton.

SCH is sponsoring him by supplying tyres for the year, which will provide a significant boost to his hopes of winning the Freshmans championship.

He says: “I’ve been promising myself to start racing for ages but for one reason and another it has never been possible. With the recent loss of my father earlier this year it was a real eye opener to achieve your goals in life before time passes you by.

“SCH’s sponsorship is an absolutely huge help and will enable me to compete in all rounds possible and ensure that I can make a realistic challenge for the Championship.”