Portsmouth set to almost triple cruise passenger numbers in 2023

Portsmouth set to almost triple cruise passenger numbers in 2023.

Bringing boost to local economy.

A massive expansion in cruise ship passenger numbers is taking place this year in Portsmouth. Traditionally, Southhampton has been the focus of maritime tourism, but now its near neighbour and rival is fighting back.

In 2023, Portsmouth will welcome more than 97,000 cruise ship passengers. That is almost triple the number catered for in 2022 – at around 35,000.


Last week, Portsmouth International Port revealed its initial cruise schedulefor 2023, as it hosts even more maiden calls and welcomes back some iconic cruise lines. There will be an enormous range of luxury, boutique and expedition vessels coming to the city.

In the next 12 months, vessels from the likes of Viking, Ambassador, Residences at Sea, Silversea, Oceania and Hurtigruten will all call at the port. Portsmouth is trying to compete with its big rival Southampton for a slice of the cruise ship pie.

Passenger numbers at the port have risen quickly since the pandemic. The cruise market is steadily growing, with bigger ships and more competitive pricing.

The port says that cruise passenger numbers are as follows:

  • 2022: 35,995.
  • 2023: 97,923 (estimate)
  • 2024: 84,000 (estimate)

Commenting on the upsurge in numbers, Andy Williamson, Portsmouth International Port’s passenger operations manager, said: “We can’t wait to get started with the 2023 cruise season, as the travel industry continues to recover following the global pandemic.