SMS OFFERS SOMETHING EXTRA AS STAR BREEZE MAKES FIRST PORTSMOUTH CALL

SMS has handled the first call in Portsmouth of the ultra luxury Windstar Cruises’ vessel Star Breeze.

The 10,000 tonnes ship, akin to a superyacht, has 106 high quality outward facing suites. Her sole Portsmouth call of the season saw her disembark 200 passengers and then take on board the same number as she prepared to sail on an eight-day Northern Europe voyage taking in ports in Portugal, Northern Spain, France and Belgium.

In line with its services at Portsmouth International Port (PIP), SMS carried out mooring support along with baggage handling and stores activities for Star Breeze’s call.

With PIP ideally suited to hosting small, exclusive cruise ships, SMS is able to tailor its services to ensure a premier experience for passengers.

Cruise Manager Paulo Oliveira explained: “Boutique cruise ships such as Star Breeze provide passengers with a different kind of experience to larger cruise ships. Portsmouth’s facilities and our personalised services make for an ideal combination in handling these types of ships.”

SMS BUILDS ON ITS ROPE HANDLING WORK AT PORTSMOUTH PORT

Southern Maritime Services (SMS) has secured an agreement to provide support for rope handling services at Portsmouth International Port (PIP).

SMS staff will provide back-up to PIP’s own specialist teams who moor and untie ferries and cruise ships arriving at the docks.

SMS already provides similar support services to terminal manager Portico, handling the ropes for ships at the adjacent cargo berths in Portsmouth port.

The PIP work builds on SMS’ main activity in Portsmouth, which involves providing baggage handling and storing services for the growing numbers of cruise ships calling in the port. The current contract has recently been extended until 2021.

SMS Director Kevin Hulme explained: “We are delighted to expand our work supporting activities at Portsmouth port. The rope handling at PIP will take on additional significance as the volume of cruise ships calling in the port increases.”

Ian Diaper, PIP Head of Operations, said: “Our ambitions to grow Portsmouth’s cruise offer means we need the appropriate skills in place to help manage the additional calls. With SMS in place to provide this support, it means we can deliver a reliable and efficient service for our customers.

“This builds on the current excellent service SMS has provided the port over the years and we look forward to working with them as the business expands.”

SMS PLAYS PART IN SUPPORTING D-DAY VETERANS ON PORTSMOUTH VISIT

Southern Maritime Services (SMS) has supported a group of special guests who have played a central role in Portsmouth’s D-Day 75th anniversary events.

More than 250 military veterans from the Normandy landings arrived in Portsmouth on the Fred Olsen Cruises vessel Boudicca, which had been chartered by the Royal British Legion.

SMS personnel provided assistance to the veterans disembarking the Boudicca as they travelled to Southsea Common for the VIP events surrounding the event. The veterans were also supported by SMS when they returned later in the day to re-board the ship, which then sailed for the June 6 commemorations in France.

SMS Operations Manager Keith Brown explained: “We were privileged to play our part in the anniversary events and delighted to support the veterans who were at the centre of events at these historic occasions.”

SMS SUPPORTS SAGA PEARL ON HER FINAL CALL IN PORTSMOUTH

SMS ensured a successful final call in Portsmouth for Saga Pearl II as she marked the end of her time in the Saga Cruises fleet..

The classic ship, nearly 40 years old, disembarked 387 passengers after her final cruise to South Africa with SMS handling all baggage and also carrying out de-storing work before the ship sailed to Portland for hand-over to her new owners.

Saga Pearl II, built in 1980, joined the Saga fleet in 2009 and has been based in Portsmouth throughout the past winter.

Saga’s new ship, Spirit of Discovery, joins the fleet in July.

SMS BIDS FAREWELL TO SAGA PEARL ON HER FINAL CRUISE

SMS helped to provide a rousing send-off for Saga Cruises’ Saga Pearl II as she sailed on her farewell cruise from Portsmouth.

The classic ship, nearly 40 years old, embarked 384 passengers for her final cruise, which takes in the Canaries and calls in West Africa before sailing south. SMS also handled the disembark of over 300 passengers from a Canaries cruise before loading baggage and stores for the farewell trip.

Adding to the celebration was a firework display as Saga Pearl II set off on the 54-night cruise that will bring the curtain down on a successful career for a vessel built in 1980. She joined the Saga fleet in 2009 and has been based in Portsmouth throughout the past winter.

Saga Pearl II will return to Portsmouth in April when she will disembark her final passengers and de-store before being retired from Saga’s service.

SMS SUPPORTS GROWING CRUISE BUSINESS AT PORTSMOUTH

Cruise ship support specialists Southern Maritime Services (SMS) have embarked on a busy 2018 schedule that will see the company handle around 50 per cent more cruise calls at Portsmouth International Port (PIP) this year compared to last.

SMS, which supports all cruise ship visitors to PIP, will service more than 40 calls at the port this year as PIP continues to build its base of cruise ship customers.

PIP’s cruise business has been boosted by Saga Cruises’ decision to base its Saga Pearl II vessel at the South Coast port, with a total of 14 turnaround calls scheduled for this year. Saga Pearl II will carry passengers to destinations including the Canaries, Mediterranean, Norwegian fjords, northern Europe and the Baltic.

SMS will provide a full stevedoring service, including baggage handling and stores loading, for Saga Pearl II, which has capacity for more than 500 passengers. Sister company Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) will also support the calls with passenger valet parking services.

SMS is part of the Independent Port Handling Group and Director Lee Davis explained: “We are delighted to see PIP’s cruise business growing again and SMS is fully committed to making 2018 a successful season for the port.”

Cruise Business

SMS SELECTED TO SERVICE REGULAR PORTSMOUTH WIND FARM SUPPORT SHIP CALL

Southern Maritime Services (SMS) has been selected to provide port handling services for an offshore wind farm accommodation ship calling monthly at Portsmouth International Port (PIP).

The 122 m. Wind Solution, is calling regularly at PIP as part of an operation to bring fresh crew and supplies to the massive Rampion wind farm project currently being constructed off the Sussex Coast.

When completed, the Rampion wind farm will consist of 116 giant turbines, providing 400 megawatts of electricity to the national grid from a site 13km out in the English Channel. It should be completed by 2018, and it is estimated it will be able to supply 300,000 homes with green energy.

Project managers decided on using a floating hotel to keep the construction crew as close as possible to where they are working, cutting hours of transportation every day.

They decided that PIP was the perfect place for resupplying the operation, with Wind Solution carrying the necessary personnel and produce to the construction site after a 24 hours turnaround period at Portsmouth.

SMS was selected to provide full stevedoring services to the vessel. Its first call this Spring saw SMS, with a small team of six skilled stevedores, load 20 Containers, waste skips and garbage compactors. Subsequent monthly service calls will involve loading of supplies and removal of waste. Its final de-mobilization call will be around March/April 2018.

Wind Solution is owned and operated by C-Bed Floating Hotels. The ship has a purpose built boat landing stage, which will be used by up to twenty smaller vessels to bring construction workers to their accommodation after a day working on constructing the turbines. The ship can accommodate 115 guests, mostly in single cabins.

LUXURY LE SOLEAL MARKS FIRST SMS TURNAROUND OF THE SEASON

SMS has kicked off its 2017 cruise season at Portsmouth International Port (PIP) with a turnaround operation on the luxury French passenger ship Le Soleal.

The 264-passenger ship operated by Ponant Cruises called in Portsmouth to start a ten-day round Britain Celtic Coastlines cruise.

SMS supported disembarking 200 passengers and a similar number joining the ship for the cruise that will include calls in Guernsey, the Scilly Isles, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Le Soleal will also call in Liverpool during the voyage where she will be handled by SMS’ sister company SCH.

Cruise Operations Manager Glen Gardner explained: “Portsmouth is an ideal cruise turnaround port for smaller, luxury ships and Le Soleal certainly fits that category. SMS ensured a successful operation with a range of services including baggage handling and ship and quayside support.”

The season’s first turnaround operation at PIP followed a transit call by Phoenix Reisen’s German cruise ship Deutschland, which SMS also supported.

SMS BAKE OFF EXPERTS RAISE CASH FOR MACMILLAN

Macmillan Cake Day

Staff at Southern Maritime Services put their cake making skills to good use to help MacMillan Cancer Support’s annual coffee morning.

After a busy night of baking, they sold their wares around Portsmouth International Port and the passenger terminal to raise more than £100.

“It was a great effort by our staff and we had tremendous support from people who work in the port or were visiting. We’d like to thank everyone who contributed,” said SMS Manager Debbie McGrath.

Caption for photo: SMS staff and their families enjoy a taste of their cakes baked for the MacMillan coffee morning

SMS SERVICES RECORD NUMBER OF SHIPS IN ONE DAY

SMS

Port handling specialists Southern Maritime Services (SMS) have achieved a new “first” by handling three cruise ships simultaneously in Portsmouth International Port (PIP).

The calls included two turnaround calls by the Voyages of Discovery ship Voyager and Noble Caledonia’s Hebridean Sky respectively, plus a day call by the National Geographic vessel Orion, which arrived from London and sailed for Alderney as part of a voyage round England, Wales and Ireland.

More than 1,000 passengers were embarked and disembarked on the Voyager and Hebridean Sky as the two ships prepared to sail on itineraries that included the Channel Islands and Northern Europe. In addition, SMS carried out storing and mooring work on all three ships, and handled the ship’s agency for the Voyager, while sister company Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS) was responsible for valet parking of passenger cars.

Around 50 personnel were required for the operations, which also included checking passengers in and handling their baggage.

Director Kevin Hulme explained: “It was undoubtedly the busiest day of the year in Portsmouth and SMS showed the full range of their handling capabilities to service the ships. Servicing three ships in a day underlined how Portsmouth is growing as a destination for small cruise ships.”

SMS is part of Independent Port Handling, the UK’s most extensive provider of cruise ship handling services, and the busy day in Portsmouth coincided with the Group’s other subsidiaries also carrying out cruise ship handling operations in Southampton and Liverpool on the same day.