The Full Wiki

More info on Portsmouth Harbour

Portsmouth Harbour: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Portsmouth Harbour is a large natural harbour in Hampshire, Englandmarker. Geographically it is a ria. The city of Portsmouthmarker lies to the east on Portsea Islandmarker, and Gosportmarker to the west on the mainland. At its north end is Portchester Castlemarker, of Roman origin and the first fortress built to protect the harbour.

The mouth of the harbour provides access to the Solentmarker. It is best known as the home of the Royal Navy, HMNB Portsmouthmarker. Because of its strategic location on the south coast of Englandmarker, protected by the natural defence of the Isle of Wightmarker, it has since the Middle Ages been the home to England's (and later Britain'smarker) navy. The narrow entrance, and the forts surrounding it gave it a considerable advantage of being virtually impregnable to attack from the sea — however, by use of subterfuge of sailing into the harbour with English flags, the French burned Portsmouth in the 1338.

In modern times, the harbour has become a major commercial ferry port, with regular services to Le Havre, Francemarker, Cherbourg, Francemarker, St Malo, Francemarker, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight. There is a passenger ferry to Gosportmarker. It is also a major area for leisure sailing. Recently, a large area of the former naval dockyard has been redeveloped into the Gunwharf Quaysmarker development, including the Spinnaker Towermarker.


Portsmouth Harbour contains a number of islands. Whale Islandmarker is the home of the HMS Excellentmarker training establishment. Horsea Island is now connected to the mainland due to land reclamation. It is also part of the HMS Excellent establishment. Pewit Islandmarker is a small island located in the north western section of Portsmouth Harbour.

Portsmouth ferry port


Portsmouth investigated three locations for a ferry port at the end of the 1960s and the current location was chosen. The choice was based on cost and the likely benefit of cross-channel ferries. The site was at the end of the newly constructed M275. Originally built with two berths the site opened in 1976 with the Earl William (Sealink) running to the Channel Islands, the Viking Victory (Townsend Thoresen) running to Cherbourg and the Brittany Prince ("Brittany Ferries") running to Saint-Malo.


All three operators increased their usage of the port during the mid-eighties, which led to expansion. An additional two berths were built, both twin tier. Berth 2 was filled and a new Berth 2 built, which was mainly used by the Earl Granville (Sealink) running to both the Channel Islands and Cherbourg, Berth 1 become more tight to use and the newly roll-on, roll-off Commodore Shipping used it for their Channel Island freight services. Berth 3 was left incomplete while Berth 4 was finished. This was generally considered the Brittany Ferries berth. When Berth 3 was finished Townsend Thoresen moved their passenger operation entirely from Southamptonmarker to Portsmouth. Shortly afterwards, Townsend Thoresen bought P&O (Normandy Ferries) and relocated them to Portsmouth. The old Southampton Ferry port was then converted to a marina.

The continued use of Portsmouth saw the creation of Berth 5 and the final stage of development. Portsmouth had seen additional ferry companies Channel Island Ferries, Hoverspeed and Truckline and new routes to Caenmarker, Santandermarker and Bilbaomarker. With the advent of the Channel Tunnelmarker and the abolition of Duty Free most of the companies disappeared. Sealink merged their Channel Island operations with the newly created Channel Island Ferries to create British Channel Island Ferries. They then later relocated operations to Poolemarker before merging into Condor Ferries. Sealink operated to Cherbourg with the Earl Granville for several further years until the Earl Granville violently ran aground off Cherbourg. Hoverspeed ran the HOVERSPEED GB from Portsmouth to Cherbourg intermittently one summer - often the "new ferry of the future" was out of action and the now repaired but ageing Earl Granville would step into the breach - much to passenger annoyance.


By 2000 Portsmouth only had ferries from Brittany Ferries, Condor and P&O. P&O replaced the aging Super Vikings with a Ro-pax ship and a Sea-Cat on the Portsmouth-Cherbourg route, but by 2006 P&O had all but closed, the route to Bilbao ceased, and Portsmouth became a quiet port again. LD Lines run one sailing a day to Le Havremarker and Aznar Lineas tried briefly to compete in the northern Spain route, but it lasted 3 months before closure.


Today, Brittany Ferries operates a three times daily service to Caen, daily to St Malo, and offers a high-speed seasonal service to Cherbourg, which runs twice daily except on Friday, Saturday & Sunday when it is reduced to daily. An extra morning service to Caen is scheduled. LD Lines offers a daily link to Le Havre and Condor offers freight-only sailings to the Channel Islands twice daily. The sole remaining P&O service to Bilbao cycles through every three days.


See also


Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address