Carnival UK chief executive David Dingle used today’s gathering of the entire fleet of P&O Cruises ships in Southampton for the first time to re-emphasise the cruise industry’s safety record.
He appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning as the line’s seven ships docked in their home port for the so-called Grand Event.
Dingle admitted the Costa Concordia disaster had come as a shock but the industry had been working together to make safety improvements against a backdrop of a sound safety record prior to the January accident.
He highlighted the economic benefit cruise ship calls bring to ports such as Southampton, with the P&O fleet injecting a collective £17 million to the local economy in a single day today.
Travel agents are due to view the seven ships as they leave in procession from the port later today for a royal fleet review conducted by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.
But low cloud and rain cast doubts over whether a planned fly past and display by the Red Arrows would be able to go ahead.
In a complex logistical operation, 15,000 passengers will disembark and 15,000 new passengers will board the ships during the ‘Grand Event’ day to mark 175 years of P&O Cruises.
More than 10,000 spectators are expected to gather at vantage points around Southampton Water to watch the departure of the ships later today.
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