Cruising into the 2016 season at Portsmouth International Port

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Minerva  Spinnaker Tower

The winter wait is finally over and cruise ships are heading back to Portsmouth International Port, marking the start of the 2016 season, the cruise schedule can be found at

Each ship that calls is offered a bespoke service, so the cruise team have had a busy few months making sure the smallest detail is correct for each and every ship.

There are four cruise ship visits scheduled for April. The first cruise ship to arrive in 2016 is Swan Hellenic’s ‘Minerva’. Sailing in from St Malo on 15 April, ‘Minerva’ will disembark passengers and restock provisions for her next cruise holiday. Passengers who join the ship at Portsmouth International Port will spend the next two weeks immersing themselves in French culture, on a journey to see three rivers of France, before returning to Portsmouth on 28 April. Minerva will then start another holiday - this time exploring the Baltic, with a visit to St Petersburg in Russia.

Swan Hellenic is part of the All Leisure Holidays, a specialist cruise operator that has an ongoing commitment to base ships at Portsmouth International Port for the summer season. ALH realises that “Britain’s Best Connected Port” is the perfect place for its customers to join a cruise ship - with fast journey times from Central London, and easy access by road, rail and air from all over the country. Dedicated cruise facilities and flexible services are another reason the company extended an initial five year commitment by an additional three years.

Four days after Minerva departs, ‘Amadea’ arrives from Hamburg for the first port of call visit of the season. ‘Amadea’ is the flagship for renowned German operator, Phoenix Reisen, designed to carry 600 passengers in first class comfort. Arriving at 0600, passengers will have 12 hours in Port, a full day to explore the world-class tourist attractions on the doorstep of Portsmouth International Port. ‘Amadea’ then departs for La Coruna in Spain, part of a three week cruise into the Mediterranean before heading back to Germany.

The cruise ship that will have travelled furthest to reach Portsmouth International Port is ‘Albatros’, having just completed a round the world voyage, she was last in Portsmouth on 19 November 2015. Having set off from Peru on 1 April, she is due to arrive back on the South Coast of England on 27 April. It is exciting to know that Portrsmouth will be her first and last port of call from her home country of Germany on this voyage. At 205 metres in length, the cruise ship is one of the larger cruise liners to call at Portsmouth International Port this year. It is another vessel owned and operated by Phoenix Reisen.

Both ‘Albatros’ and ‘Amadea’ will make return visits to Portsmouth International Port during the 2016 season. Portsmouth is becoming increasingly popular with German passengers, who bring an important boost to the local tourist economy.

For further information please contact Emma Gaisford or Julie Blackwell on 01256 631 696 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


100 days until the best show in sailing returns to Portsmouth

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Tuesday 12th April marks 100 days until the start of the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series, the hottest sailing competition in the world, returns to Portsmouth (21st -24th July).

The best sailors & the fastest boats!

First and foremost the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series is all about the fastest foiling boats racing just metres away from the shore - providing an adrenaline fuelled spectacle, with the world's best sailors fighting it out in short, sharp races that will have spectators on the edge of the seats.

Last year huge crowds turned out to watch Sir Ben Ainslie's home team Land Rover BAR take victory on UK waters. In 2015 many of the teams had only just launched their foiling AC45 catamarans and Sir Ben had got to grips with this challenging boat quicker than his international rivals. However, this year's event in Portsmouth will be the seventh event on the circuit and the level of competition has stepped up a few gears since last summer. Defending their Portsmouth title will be no easy feat for Sir Ben and his crew.

"This time around everyone's had plenty of time in the boats, so the standard of boat handling should be a lot closer by the time we get to Portsmouth, and there will probably not be such big differences between the speed of the boats. As we've seen for most of this year, any team can win any race," comments Land Rover BAR's sailor Paul Campbell-James.

"You've got a lot of Brits across the teams which is great for the home crowd Obviously our boat is full of Brits, then there's Iain Percy on Artemis Racing and Chris Draper on Softbank Team Japan. Anyone can have their day, you've only got to look at the scoreboard to see that Emirates Team New Zealand lead with Oracle Team USA just in front of us. The Japanese and French teams are definitely getting better, and you wouldn't bet against any team," says Campbell-James.

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Action in the air

It's not just about the sailing: off the water there is a packed three-day public programme of entertainment to enthral all the family, including three thrilling aerobatic displays. To mark the 100 days the final aerobatic display has been announced with the Blades Display Team flying on Saturday 23rd July, with four high-performance planes flown by former RAF fast-jet pilots performing a routine that includes over 30 manoeuvres and features plenty of close-crosses and heart-stopping dives. The Blades join The Red Arrows, who are bringing their distinctive squadron of nine red Hawk jets on Friday 22nd July. On Sunday 24th July it's the turn of the Red Bull Matadors to wow the crowds, as they twist and turn at speeds of up to 250mph in a series of loops, dives and spectacular smoke displays.

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The Racing heats up

Some changes to the race schedule will make the competition on the water hotter than ever. For 2016 the event will open with a preview invitation day (Thursday 21st July) which focuses on youth engagement activities and media profiling. But the temperature really goes up on Friday' 22nd July as America's Cup Match Racing action returns to the Solent! Exclusively for the opening day, the six America's Cup teams will compete in Match Racing duels alongside the usual fleet races. This offers the chance to watch the world's best sailing teams racing one-on-one in some really close battles, with speeds reaching in excess of 40mph. This high-speed game of strategy and tactics, where there is only one winner, is a sight not to be missed! The fleet racing kicks off on Saturday 23rd July, followed by a double-points finale on Sunday 24th July. There are plans to run three races per day, making for a fast and furious weekend of competition.

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Join the action

Spectators can join the action on land in the new Race Village, home of a special Kids Zone, Tech Zone and Team Zone with lots of interactive activities for all ages, and the chance to learn more about the America's Cup and the incredible technology behind it. Event Director Leslie Greenhalgh comments: "We're really excited about our new Race Village for 2016, which is going to include lots of hands-on activities as well as live commentary and big screen coverage of all the racing.

"The teams are going to be docking in and out close to the spectator area, and we'll be getting the sailors up on stage to hear their reactions straight after racing. There's going to be a fantastic atmosphere with supporters cheering on our home team and we want to give them a great send-off before they head to Bermuda in 2017."

The daily schedule will see the teams dock out from Southsea seafront, with aerial displays before racing, intense racing scheduled between 1330 and 1500 each day (with live television coverage on BT Sport), and then teams docking In before post-racing debriefs and interviews on the big stage in the race village.

This year tickets start from £25 per person, with 6-15 year olds half price and under-5s going free. Last year's sell-out Premier Grandstand is once again booking fast (only Friday and a small number of Sunday seats remain) while new this year is the Sailors Lounge, an exclusive area with special guest speakers giving some special insights into the competition. Each Sailors Lounge ticket also includes a Grandstand seat to watch all the action.

For all info on tickets:


Photo exhibition showcases all sides of Portsmouth

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Pompey1 webAndrew Malbon, from St Jude’s Church, Southsea, will exhibit two sets of his contemporary photos featuring some of the defining experiences of living in the city. His black-and-white photos showing ‘Pompey Saturdays’ get to the heart of what it feels like to roll up at Fratton Park full of expectation on a match-day – and the emotions generated by the result. And his colour photos uncovering ’Southsea Sundays’ showcase the beauty and vitality of a sunny day on the seafront.

Both contrasting sets of images will be on display – and for sale – at St Jude’s Church, Kent Road, Southsea, from 9am-5pm each day from April 16-30. The two-week exhibition will be launched at an event from 7pm-9pm on Saturday, April 16.

It is designed to raise funds for a group of 18 adults and teenagers who are giving up 10 days of their holiday this summer to help decorate a school in Ghana. The group, who have called themselves ‘Project G’ come from Church of England churches across the city of Portsmouth. They’ll be heading off for a life-changing trip to Ghana in July, decorating a classroom for children who have special needs.

They will visit St George’s Anglican School campus in the Diocese of Ho, in eastern Ghana, as part of the long-standing links between Portsmouth’s Church of England diocese, and the Anglican dioceses in Ghana.

Andrew, who works as an architect for Portsmouth City Council said: "I know some of the teenagers from our church who are going to Ghana, and I’m sure it will be a real eye-opening trip for them – to see African culture at close quarters and to explore how the Christian faith is expressed there. I wanted to help out, and thought one way to do it would be to sell some of the photos that I’d taken."

"I’ve lived in Portsmouth since I was at university here, and I’m only a few hundred yards away from Fratton Park. You can see the expectation in the faces as the fans walk to the ground, and you can feel the elation or despair as they pour out again at the end. I wanted to capture that emotion. Portsmouth also has a fundamental relationship with the sea, which is best expressed for me in the colour, vitality and peacefulness of Southsea seafront. I’ve tried to capture some of the details that make the scenery come alive for me."

The Project G team of adults and teenagers will be led by Rachel Duff and Fran Carabott from St Jude’s, who have already been to Ho to map out the project in advance.

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Supercars to take over Gunwharf Quays in support of forces charity

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On 23rd April, over 70 iconic supercars will take over Gunwharf Quays, the Historic Dockyard and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.

Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with priceless cars that combine speed, handling and unique design. The incredible line-up will include a Ferrari La Ferrari, Zonda, Lamborghini Miura and a very special Koenigsegg CCX. There will also be cars from the entrants of Rally for Heroes, an incredible charity rally across Europe, as well as the official HASBRO Bumblebee and Lightning McQueen.
Ian Cook of ‘Pop Bang Colour’ will be creating a live painting of the Koenigsegg. His unique and contemporary style produces incredible artwork using radio-controlled cars, car tyres and toy car wheels as his paintbrushes.

Colin Wilding, General Manager at Gunwharf Quays said: “With our naval history, we are delighted to be a part of this exciting event and offering support to SSAFA, a charity that does so much to support both service men and women and their families.

“Guests to the centre will have the opportunity to experience getting close to some of the world’s most exclusive cars. With our selection of premium brands and al fresco dining on the waterfront, this is a perfect event for the whole family.”

With a target of raising £10,000 for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, 47 volunteers will also be descending the 570ft Emirates Spinnaker Tower. SSAFA provides vital support to some 55,000 serving men and women, reservists, veterans and their families from all three services. The volunteers will be joined by George Medal recipient Ryan Shelley, who will be abseiling in recognition of the support he received from SSAFA.

Ryan explained: “I was a Royal Marines Medical Assistant deployed to Afghanistan with 40 Commando in 2010 as the Charlie Company Medic. There, I was awarded the George Medal for actions which involved an American helicopter crashing near the Forward Operating Base we were working from. After over 11 years, I left the marines to spend more time with my family and began a career as a paramedic with South Central Ambulance Service.
“I was diagnosed with PTSD in August 2015 and subsequently attended a six week treatment course with Combat Stress. I was referred to SSAFA on completion of the treatment course for some assistance with some equipment for my rehabilitation. I was advised to get a hobby, exercise regularly and get out to meet people. I figured that cycling would be a good way to achieve all of the above and SSAFA helped me with the funds to get a road bike. I now regularly ride with friends and I am looking to join a cycling club. My fitness has improved and due to this so has my mental state. SSAFA have made a massive difference to my recovery.”


Portsmouth counts with the National Numeracy Challenge

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Challenge Check UpThe National Numeracy Challenge aims to challenge negative attitudes towards maths and to reduce the number of adults in the UK with low numeracy by more than one million over the next five years.

Good numeracy skills help you make decisions in everyday life and work - from checking your payslips and understanding interest rates to helping your children with their maths homework.

In Portsmouth PCC are working in partnership with the University of Portsmouth and the National Numeracy Challenge (NNC) charity in a drive to improve adult numeracy through the online Challenge Check-Up.
So, if you or someone you know is scared silly by numbers, here's some help. By taking the free National Numeracy Challenge, you can find out your level of ability, and see how you can improve.

Take the Numeracy Challenge – using the access code: pg1

For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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