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Civil Engineering

GRAHAM completes first phase upgrade at Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port

Author: Stephen Hand

Posted: 29 Apr 2019

The Port of Southampton's Ocean Cruise Terminal

GRAHAM has completed the first phase of a multi-million-pound upgrade to the Port of Southampton’s Ocean Cruise Terminal.

Regarded as Europe’s leading cruise turnaround port, the reopening of its largest terminal marks the commencement of the busy cruise season.

Beginning in October 2018, the GRAHAM phase one programme of works involved infrastructure upgrades on the quayside with 18 new 150 tonne bollards replacing the existing 50 tonne bollards.

Key elements of the scheme also included the addition of a new entrance lobby, the alteration of the terminal building to provide improved, and additional, vertical transition, the expansion of the security X-Ray area and the provision of access to the second Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridge (SPBB).

The alteration of the store’s building roof, provision of a roof structure over the ‘fourth’ inward cabin baggage portal, the completion of a canopied vehicle set down area and the paving of the HGV marshalling zone, accommodating the realignment of the fencing and gates, plus new drainage, were additional features of the programme.

Commenting on the successful project completion Leo Martin, GRAHAM Managing Director – Civil Engineering, said:


“The first phase upgrade at the Port of Southampton is an important infrastructure project that will help to support continued growth in the cruise sector.

“The technical competency and engineering excellence of our team facilitated a smooth process throughout the project. Indeed, our alternative solution for the construction of the new 150 tonne bollards on reinforced concrete foundations, with the removal of the existing bollards, was specifically chosen for use by ABP (Associated British Ports).

“We have consistently demonstrated our capacity to deliver high-quality projects on time and to budget in the face of the unique challenges presented by port and maritime environments.”


Partnership project

The overall Port of Southampton upgrade is a £12m partnership project between ABP and P&O Cruises.

It has been commissioned in readiness for May 2020 when the cruise line’s newest flagship, Iona, will arrive in Southampton from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg.

The entire project will be completed in early 2020 with the installation of two new airbridges and a further 2,000 roof-mounted solar panels.

Iona, which will homeport in Southampton, is the first of two new ships of the XL class for P&O Cruises, with the next ship on order to be delivered in 2022. She is the first British cruise ship to be powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).

Alastair Welch, Director at the Port of Southampton, said:


“Cruise is a growing industry and we continue to make these significant investments which are crucial to ensuring we are in a good position to welcome the larger ships and the increase in passenger numbers.”


ABP, the UK’s leading port operator/owner, has previously selected GRAHAM to complete a range of challenging programmes of work including the design and construction of the world’s largest dedicated biomass handling facility, the £120m Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal, the £114m redevelopment of Alexandra Dock at Green Port Hull, and the £26m transformation of Grimsby River Terminal.