Accordingly, the port welcomed on January 10, the two multi-million pound air bridges, as part of the investment partnership with Carnival UK, highlighting the next stage of the £12 million pound upgrade.

The port is now ready for the arrival of Iona, P&O Cruises newest cruise ship and the first wholly powered LNG ship built for the UK market.

Also, the two new bridges are designed to carry the 5,200-passenger capacity XL class of ships being built for Carnival Corporation of which Iona is the first for P&O Cruises. They arrived from Barcelona on 4 January as the port eagerly awaits the arrival of Iona who will homeport in Southampton from May.

According to ABP, with the arrival of the cruise ship, the Port of Southampton will be the UK’s first port to enable the provision of ship to ship LNG bunkering for cruise ships.

Steven Young, Vice President Port & Shore Operation at Carnival UK, commented that

The new airbridges mark an exciting milestone in our investment in the future of cruise and ensure we can continue to be Europe’s leading cruise turn-around port.

Associated British Ports (ABP) reiterated its ambition to install UK's first shore power technology for cruise ships at the Port of Southampton in late 2019, with prime minister Boris Johnson visiting the port on December 2, and commenting that he was "very interested" in shore power as a means of reducing shipping emissions, BBC reports.