TUI's Mein Schiff 3 arrives and it's the largest cruise ship EVER to visit Portsmouth
At 293.8 metres long TUI's Mein Schiff 3 is unmistakably a beast of the sea with her arrival a truly significant moment for a south coast city.
The cruise ship arrived from Liverpool into a glorious Portsmouth sunrise at around 5:30am on Friday, carrying 2,000 or so passengers from Germany who've been travelling around the UK on a 12 day round trip.
Her dominance in the dock dwarfs the size of Virgin's Scarlett Lady which is 274 metres and even comes in bigger than the Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth which is 284 metres in length.
The Mein Schiff 3, which boats 15 bars and lounges and nine restaurants, is the equivalent size of having the Elizabeth Tower tower put on its side three times, or two and a bit London Eye's next to each other. You get the idea!
Portsmouth International Port is aiming to receive 80% of the UK's cruise ship calls in the coming years as it looks to strengthen its image as being a major UK port.
2023 will be a busy year for the naval city with maiden voyages from several passenger liners including The World, Endeavour, Riviera and Spitsbergen.
An 11 million pound cruise terminal is being constructed which will help accommodate 250,000 additional passengers a year, each contributing an estimated £70 to the local economy.
Andrew Williamson, passenger operations manager at Portsmouth International Port previously said:
"We’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to show the cruise industry what we and the city have to offer, and they like what they have seen, leading to a bumper number of scheduled calls this year.
“With such an exciting range of luxury, boutique and expedition vessels visiting the port in 2023, the only way is up for Portsmouth."
Tui’s Mein Schiff 3 departs at 7pm on Friday headed for its home in Bremerhaven, Germany.
She will return to Portsmouth again this summer in July and then in August.
Missed the most recent edition of ITV News Meridian? Catch up with the latest news and weather forecast now