Watch: AIDA Cruises arrives in Portsmouth. Credit: Portsmouth International Port
After a bleak few years for the cruise industry, the 2022 season is bringing hope to Portsmouth.
Portsmouth International Port has welcomed 2000 passengers arriving from a new German cruise liner today (Monday, April 25).
AIDA Cruises made its first ever call at the city where thousands of tourists disembarked.
The ship's visit is the first of two AIDA calls to Portsmouth this year, with sister ship AIDAvita scheduled to visit on December 10.
Andrew Williamson, passenger operations manager at Portsmouth International Port said: "We're delighted to welcome the AIDAsol, along with her crew and passengers, to Portsmouth today."
"The hard work that's been carried out behind the scenes, along with Portsmouth's superb offer for passengers, means that major lines such as AIDA are now attracted to the port."
"AIDA pride themselves on their family friendly atmosphere, and as Portsmouth offers a wide range of attractions suitable for all ages, they'll be sure to find plenty to do whilst they spend their day here."
"From the unrivalled history on offer at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, to the stunning views from the Spinnaker Tower along with the opportunity to explore the shops and restaurants across the city, I'm sure the people of Portsmouth will give passengers a warm welcome."
AIDAsol's passengers are being welcomed by a team of Portsmouth Ambassadors to ensure they get a "great first impression of the city."
The Portsmouth Ambassadors programme is run by Shaping Portsmouth. It aims to engage the local community and businesses to drive passion for the city, recruiting Ambassadors to carry the message.
Andrew Starr, Deputy Leader of the Portsmouth Ambassador programme, said: "Welcoming cruise ships into Portsmouth and interacting with the visitors as they come ashore is one of the main functions of Portsmouth Ambassadors."
"People who are passionate about Portsmouth and wish to share their passion with people visiting us. This is a wonderful new opportunity for all ambassadors to eventually come and greet visitors to our wonderful city."
Sarah Bell, Leader of Shaping Portsmouth’s Cruise Passenger programme, added: "We are very excited on the Cruise Passenger Programme to be leading our first Meet and Greet Event at the port and welcoming our Cruise visitors to our wonderful city."