Princess Cruises Warns Passengers of Delays at Major Homeport

Princess Cruises is advising guests at Southampton on Saturday to be ready for possible delays with 5 ships in port and a local music festival.

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Princess Cruises has reached out to guests booked aboard the June 17, 2023 sailing of Sky Princess to alert them to likely heavy traffic, congestion, and delays that will impact embarkation.

Travelers are urged to allow extra time to reach the port area, especially as a total of five cruise ships will be in port simultaneously, causing additional traffic flow difficulties.

Possible Problems for Sky Princess Embarkation

Guests setting sail aboard the Royal-class Sky Princess on Saturday, June 17, 2023 should be extra cautious with time to reach the cruise terminal in Southampton due to multiple ships in port as well as a local festival that will bring even more traffic to the area.

Princess Cruises has sent email and text notifications to guests booked aboard Sky Princess for either the 14-night “Land of the Midnight Sun & Summer Solstice” cruise or the 21-night “North Cape & Scandinavian Medley” itineraries – both part of the June 17 departure – to alert them to the anticipated heavy traffic.

“In advance of your embarkation in Southampton, United Kingdom on Saturday, 17 June 2023, please be advised that there will be five ships in port on this date,” the email explained. “We also anticipate large numbers of people in Southampton to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight Festival. As a result, heavy traffic and congestion is expected in the area.”

Sky Princess Cruise Ship
Sky Princess Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: P.Cartwright / Shutterstock)

Guests are advised to expect delays and heavy traffic near the port, and should allow extra time to reach the cruise terminal, especially if parking in the port vicinity. Carpooling could help alleviate some traffic, or guests should be prepared to leave earlier than anticipated to be on time for their arrival.

Sky Princess will be docking at the Mayflower Cruise Terminal, which is easiest to reach via Dock Gate 20 on the western side of the port. Travelers arriving via ride shares or cabs should direct their drivers appropriately to minimize wait times and traffic congestion.

“We look forward to welcoming you on board Sky Princess,” the email concluded. “Thank you for your attention to this notification.”

Southampton to Have VERY Busy Saturday

Just last month, Southampton endured heavy traffic and massive gridlock with just four ships in port. Part of that difficulty, however, was caused by unscheduled security checks that slowed passenger and customs processing.

The five ships in port on June 17 include Sky Princess, of course, as well as Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette, MSC Cruises MSC Virtuosa, TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 3, and P&O Cruises Iona.

Four of the ships are currently homeported in Southampton and will be both debarking and embarking passengers on Saturday. Mein Schiff 3, however, is only visiting the city as a port of call, but will still have travelers leaving the vessel to enjoy tours and time in the vibrant port city.

Cruise Ships in Southampton
Cruise Ships in Southampton (Photo Credit: Ruth Peterkin / Shutterstock)

When adding together both debarking and embarking guests, as well as port of call visitors, as many as 38,000 passengers may be moving through the Southampton cruise terminals on Saturday.

This does not count port employees, cruise ship crew members who may be joining or leaving different vessels, tour operators for visiting guests, suppliers bringing goods to each ship, or general traffic in the port area.

Furthermore, the Isle of Wight Festival is June 15-18. The annual music festival with multiple headline acts may draw 50,000 guests or more. Guests reach the festival via ferry from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lymington, or Southsea.

Any travelers through Southampton on Saturday should expect and prepare for possible delays, and allot plenty of time to reach their cruise terminal. Checking which ship is docking at which terminal will be helpful to ensure smoother traffic flow and less confusion when reaching the port.

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