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Traffic warning ahead of arrival of three cruise ships

Three cruise ships will arrive in Southampton today Credit: ITV Meridian

Southampton City Council is advising motorists of possible congestion on city centre roads around Town Quay today, when three cruise ships will be in port at the same time. Thousands of cruise passengers will be travelling from Dock Gate 4 through works at Platform Road and Western Esplanade.

The busiest times are expected to be between 11am and 2pm around the southern part of the city coming in from the M271. If journeys to this part of the city are not essential drivers may wish to travel outside of the peak times or come into the city using a different route.

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QM2 cruise ship celebrates 10th birthday

The QM2 cruise ship berthed in Sydney last month Credit: AAP/Press Association Images

The Queen Mary 2, which was based at Southampton until 2011, is celebrating her 10th anniversary today.

The cruise ship was designed by Romsey's Steven Payne, which includes fifteen restaurants, five swimming pools, a casino, theatre and first planetarium at sea.

Southampton most used cruise port in Europe

The region has seen a massive rise in cruise passengers, new figures have shown.

For the first time ever, more than one million people started a cruise in the UK, with many setting sail from Southampton.

This is a 10% rise on the previous year, according to the Cruise Line International Association.

Southampton is used by more cruise passengers than any other in Europe.

Portsmouth and Dover are also reported to have healthy passenger numbers too.

The number of people visiting the UK by cruise ships has increased whilst it's estimated that the value to the local economy is now £1 billion a year.

Britannia to be biggest cruise ship for Britain

She will be called Britannia, cost £500 million to build and will be the biggest ever cruise ship for Britain. The 141,000 tonne ship is 20% bigger than any existing ship. It will carry 3,600 passengers and is more than 1000 feet long.

But with so many passengers, and ten other ships being based in the region, will they be able to fill her? Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse was given exclusive access to see the work in Italy and to talk to her captain from Sussex.

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Southampton's economy to get Britannia boost

David Dingle Chief Executive of P&O Cruises said:

Many ships have been called Britannia in the past dating back to the early 1800's. One of the most famous is the former Royal Yacht which is today a tourist attraction near Edinburgh.

This is great news for the south. Every time a ship pulls into Southampton the local economy gets a £2.5 million boost. From food suppliers to cab drivers this couldn't be better news.

– David Dingle, Chief Executive of P&O Cruises

Britannia - the name for Britain's newest and biggest cruise liner

An artist's impression of how Britannia will look when she is built Credit: P&O Cruises

The last major vessel to carry the name was the Royal Yacht which was retied in 1997. It will be the first in a new generation of "green ships" with a new style hull reducing fuel consumption by 20% and the most environmentally friendly in the world.

The 141,000 ton ship will be a major boost for Southampton where she will be based bringing in tens of millions of pounds to the local economy. It will bring to eleven the number of ships based in the port.

The ship will carry 3,600 passengers, she'll be 1,082 feet long and 25,000 tons bigger than any existing British cruise ships. Britannia will enter service in 2015 and cost £350 million

Britannia will arrive in Southampton in 2015 Credit: P&O Cruises

Newest cruise liner 'Royal Princess' almost complete

Thousands of construction workers, carpenters, decorators and others are in a race against time to complete 'Royal Princess', the massive new cruise ship for Southampton, ahead of her naming ceremony in June.

The cruise liner will be officially named by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge in Southampton in a fortnight. The liner is due to leave the shipyard in Italy on Friday, heading to Hampshire for the launch ceremony. Our correspondent Mike Pearse reports. The interviewee is the ship's Captain, Tony Draper.

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