Stevedoring and ancillary services company Southern Maritime Services (SMS) has kicked off a busy 2015 cruise season at Portsmouth International Port (PIP) by handling the Voyages of Discovery ship Voyager.

The 15,270 tonnes Voyager arrived from Spain and set sail on a 16-day cruise to the Norwegian fjords and into the Arctic Circle with nearly 440 passengers.

SMS, which handles all cruise ship callers at PIP, also disembarked some 450 passengers and placed on board a full load of food, provisions, beverages and technical stores, including supplies sourced locally.

The call was the first of 37 cruise ship visits being made to PIP this year, with the Voyager scheduled to make six calls between now and the middle of May.

SMS also carried out passenger check-in and embarkation, valet car parking and ship’s agency as part of its programme for the Voyager’s maiden seasonal call.

SMS Director Paul Kempton explained: “We’re looking forward to a busy 2015 cruise season and Voyager will be an important initial part of that programme. She is a high quality ship which offers premier cruising and our service reflects that.”