One of Europe’s most popular ports faced heavy traffic and long delays on Friday due to unplanned extra security measures as four ships disembarked and picked up tourists.
Delay to Port of Southampton in the UK it reached the afternoon, and the authorities urged the people of these areas not to come to the city unless it is necessary to do so.
Southampton Traffic Backups
Four ships docked in Southampton on Friday, May 12, 2023, and security checks by the Border Force (UK law enforcement and immigration authorities) delayed public transport and led to a lockdown in the city.
Four trains from four different routes were at Southampton at the time: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Fred Olsen BalmoralP&O Cruises’ BritanniaRoyal Caribbean International Song of the Seaand MSC Cruises’ MSC Virtuosa.
Each ship had friendly guests at the end of the cruise and guests at the start of the next cruise. Counting arrivals and departures, the four ships added more than 28,000 people going to and from the port, including local vehicles and dock workers.
Local officials also noted that additional security checks are adding to the decline. The traffic was so dramatic that officials tried to encourage people to stay at home if possible.
The traffic started to slow around mid-afternoon. This happened when most of the shy tourists had already left the area, and most of the passengers had already boarded their ships.
More and more traffic will begin to increase
While Southampton is the seventh busiest port in the world by passenger numbers, with around 1.9 million passengers a year, the city rarely has four large ships docked at the same time.
Due to the increasing number of cruises, however, along with larger ships with more passengers on board, it is possible that such traffic problems will become more frequent in the future.
Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, for example, each see four ships in port at Southampton.
P&O Cruises’ IonaPrincess Cruises’ Princess Sky, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Fred Olsen Borealisand Celebrity Cruises’ Many Silhouettes will be at the port on Saturday, totaling more than 26,000 boarding and disembarking tourists.
Sunday, P&O Cruises’ Arvia and Arcadiaand Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn and Royal Caribbean International Song of the Sea, all will be in Southampton for a total of more than 27,000 passengers and visitors.
After this very busy week, Southampton will not have more than two ships docked at a time until Saturday, May 20, when again, four ships will be in port. That will be the last day in May when most ships are in port at the same time, but such crowded days continue throughout the busy summer season.
Also Read: IDEAL Hotels in Southampton Before or After Your Trip
In fact, some days at the end of the season will be very busy – Saturday, June 17, and Saturday, June 24, five ships are scheduled each day. The same is true on Saturday, June 1.
Similar Problems at Other Ports
Other top cruise ports have experienced similar traffic problems on busy days and when local conditions favor traffic backups.
Road closures near the Port of Galvestonfor example, it has resulted in more traffic being reserved on spring weekends, while local music festivals near PortMiami created traffic problems at the end of May at the famous Florida port.
Even at Port Canaveral, the busiest port in the world, space launch projects can increase the population of the region and the effects of seafarers.
In recent years, cruise lines have established check-in and check-in times to help manage crowding and reduce traffic congestion at train stations. These policies began before the global pandemic and were put in place as additional crowd control and mitigation measures when cruises resume in 2021.
For tourists, the best way to avoid traffic is to check the port schedules and choose cruises that depart or arrive within days, if possible. If the port is busy, it’s important to be patient with traffic and use public transportation, group shuttles, or ride sharing if available.
Allowing extra time to get to the port or airport after the cruise is also important to ensure there are no unavoidable delays that could cause travel cancellations or other holiday complications.