Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Six cruise ships in port in Southampton together

Queen Elizabeth
Image caption Queen Elizabeth was in port earlier before leaving on its maiden world cruise

Six cruise ships, including some of the world's most famous liners, have left after all being in port in Southampton at the the same time.

Cunard's newest ship Queen Elizabeth and its sister Queen Victoria were there along with P&O Cruises' Arcadia.

Up to 20,000 passengers arrived in or departed from the city's four cruise terminals during the course of the day.

The other three ships in port were Fred Olsen's Balmoral and Black Watch, and Saga Cruises' Saga Ruby.

Fifth terminal

The port's luggage handlers dealt with at least 30,000 suitcases and local businesses, taxis and shops hoped to benefit.

Queen Elizabeth, which was named by the Queen in October last year, left on its maiden world cruise at about 1800 GMT.

The £400m liner's first cruise was to the Canary Islands, after the naming ceremony.

In December plans were announced for a fifth terminal to be built in Southampton.

The £30m development will be built at the city's Western Docks and is expected to be completed by 2014.

The 100,000 sq ft terminal will be designed to accommodate vessels with a 4,000-plus passenger capacity.

The plans come barely two years since Associated British Ports (ABP) opened its fourth terminal in the city.

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