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Thankfully, there were only a couple of fair sized ships, the rest are relatively small in comparison.
The nightmare scenario for Southampton would be these 6 ships being in Southampton on the same day..
Cunard Queen Mary 2, RCI Independence of the Seas, P&O Azura, Grand Princess, P&O Ventura and either Cunard's Queen Elizabeth or Victoria.
Now that would cause some serious traffic.
At one time you could only enter the Western Docks via Dock Gate 10, but recently they've been allowing traffic to filter through Dock Gate 8 next to Mayflower Park. This allows for a little relief on the traffic, but West Quay Road and onto the Western Esplanade is still creaking badly with the heavy amount of traffic.
With the news of a fifth terminal being built, ABP and Southampton Council seriously need to devise a plan to allow for passengers to seamlessly enter the ports, and also not snarl up the local roads for the locals as well.
Ideally a route directly into the Western Docks from the M271 motorway would be a good start, and also a more reliable road setup for entry into the Eastern Docks as well wouldn't go amiss.
Personally, I think it's great that I live in a city where we have so much choice for ship cruising, it's just a shame that people's start and end to a cruise can be so stressful if they have to negotiate the traffic jams that build up around the city.
MV Bolero - Iberian Cruise - November 1999
RCCL Legend of the Seas - Canaries Cruise - October 2006
RCCL Independence of the Seas - West Med Cruise - August 2008
P&O Ventura - Baltics and St. Petersburg - May 2009
RCCL Majesty of Seas - Cococay/Nassau - November 2009
Three of yesterday's six ships at Southampton were of a substantial size - ARCADIA, QUEEN ELIZABETH and QUEEN VICTORIA. I agree that if a larger number of today's biggest ships were all to be present at once, sheer chaos might result.
Since Southampton's economy benefits so greatly from cruise ships, some money needs to be ploughed back into improved infrastructure. The suggested road link to Western Docks would certainly be a good start.
Despite the above, it was a great occasion yesterday - just a shame that the weather didn't play its part with rain and fog in the afternoon spoiling what had been a glorious sunny morning.
Finally, does anyone know why QUEEN VICTORIA sailed late. She was spotted off the south coast of the Isle of Wight quite late in the evening despite having been scheduled to leave Southampton at 16.30.