Shaping Portsmouth’s Cruise Passenger Programme Presents Portsmouth Cruise Business Event 2023

Building upon the success of last year’s inaugural Cruise Business Event, Shaping Portsmouth is proud to announce the resounding success of this year’s event, held on November 23rd at the D-Day Story Portsmouth.  

This invitation-only event provided a platform for local tourist industries including hospitality and night-time economy, and city-wide attractions to gain insights into collaborating with the cruise industry and explore the mutually beneficial opportunities it presents for businesses and the city as a whole.  

We welcomed several representatives from the UK’s leading shore excursion companies including Abercrombie & Kent, European Cruise Service, and Excursions Ltd, who manage incoming pre-booked tours and visits for cruise passengers, and key members of the cruise industry including Cruise Britain, Portsmouth International Port and Visit Portsmouth.

The event served as a valuable opportunity for local businesses and venues to deepen their understanding of the cruise industry in Portsmouth and identify strategies to capitalise on planned cruise passenger shore excursions.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from Jane Lamer the Director of Shaping Portsmouth Business Programmes, Kate Pearce the Cruise Passenger programme lead, and Jane Singh, the Visit Portsmouth Tourism and Marketing Manager. 

There were presentations from three key players in our cruise programme. Vanessa Busfield, Co-lead of the Cruise programme, provided an overview of the current meet and greet operations. Andrew Williamson Head of Cruise and Ferry at Portsmouth International Port, shared exciting developments at the port, including its recent prestigious awards wins. Finally, Kay Greenway, Director of Cruise Britain, offered valuable updates and insights into the industry landscape. 

We also had a 90-minute networking session with shore excursion representatives and Portsmouth cruise industry experts facilitating further engagement and relationship building which laid the groundwork for potential collaborations.  

Equally as important, the event provided a platform for the shore excursion companies to establish ties with the Portsmouth tourist industry. The hope is that these connections will foster ongoing working relationships, resulting in increased cruise passenger footfall in Portsmouth and, consequently, benefits for local businesses and the wider city economy. 

The event concluded with a closing address by Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport.  

This year’s event saw a significant increase in the number of shore excursion companies in attendance compared to last year. It also incorporated an additional element: a familiarization tour of Portsmouth’s beautiful waterfront city. This tour aimed not only to welcome and introduce the shore excursion companies to the city but also to provide them with firsthand experiences of some of Portsmouth’s unique venues. 

Following the Cruise Business Event at the D-Day Museum, the shore excursion representatives embarked on a familiarization tour, beginning with a guided tour of the D-Day Museum. Subsequent stops included the Distillery, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Attractions, and the Spinnaker Tower, and back to Portsmouth Marriot Hotel where they were lodged. 

Shaping Portsmouth extends its heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s Portsmouth Cruise Business Event. The shore excursion companies present, including Abercrombie & Kent, European Cruise Service, and Excursions Ltd, played a pivotal role in the event’s success. Additionally, Shaping Portsmouth expresses its appreciation to all the Portsmouth venues and attractions present, as well as all the stakeholders who provided valuable contributions. 

Special recognition goes to the Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, Portsmouth International Port, Baileys Buses, The D-Day Museum, The Spinnaker Tower Sky Bar, Portsmouth Distillery, The Historic Dockyard, Baxter-Storey, The Botanical Port Solent, The Queens Hotel, Portsmouth City Council and Visit Portsmouth for their unwavering support and contributions. 

Shaping Portsmouth remains committed to fostering strong partnerships between local tourism and the cruise industries, ensuring that Portsmouth continues to thrive as a premier cruise destination. The success of this year’s Portsmouth Cruise Business Event serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of all involved and lays the foundation for a continued upward trajectory for Portsmouth’s cruise industry engagement.