Southampton - ghost port?

13th February 2006, 00:25
On Thursday I got a flight into Southampton which came in low over the docks.

I was hoping to see some interesting craft but in fact there was almost zilch - apart from pleasure craft there was just ONE ship which was loading scrap metal. The waters were basically empty - I was really quite shocked.

I have seen pictures posted of the "Queens" so presumably it isn't always like that - or is it?


13th February 2006, 00:29
I remember taking my son up to the top deck of the red falcon to see the ships and docks. I was shocked to find Southampton docks deserted too brian

jim barnes
13th February 2006, 01:00
just like Liverpool, biggest scrap yard in europe they say (Sad)

13th February 2006, 01:13
GGlasgow same another bridge near complete even old Waverley cant go further than science centre

peter lewis
13th February 2006, 02:11
same here in south wales drove down to swansea last week nothing in the port it is sad to see (Cloud)

13th February 2006, 03:31
I too feel the twinge of regret when one sees the boutique shopping malls, expensive housing and assorted "attractions" that have replaced once thriving commercial docks. Here in Melbourne I'm told that even the yachts taking part in the Volvo round the world race had to be heavily heeled over so that they could enter the old docks under the new Bolte Bridge. But we must remember that the ships and the ports are all still there, sadly frequently in less accessible places. The huge box boats and monstrous tankers and bulkers cannot enter the old harbours. That's progress for you mates.

Bob S
15th February 2006, 10:38
Southampton's not always that quite although when I work down there occassionally I sometimes wonder if the place has taken the day off!

If you want to make a trip to see ships best to check this site first.

15th February 2006, 11:13
Southampton is supposed to be the premier cruise capital of Europe,sometimes we see 2/3 cruisers in and the occasional car transporter and a container ship, but nothing like the old days.

fred henderson
15th February 2006, 12:17
Cruise ships follow the sun. Except for those that left in the first week in January for world cruises and will return at end March/early April cruise ships will not be in Southampton until the weather improves.


15th February 2006, 12:23
Yes, Fred is right, bad time of year for cruise ships. If you go to you will get the cruise ship shedule for year, so when you are down this way, just look it up. But there is plenty of other traffic into Southampton daily in the form of car carriers and container ships as well as smaller cargo ships and of course tankers going into Fawley. David

Pilot mac
15th February 2006, 15:54
I think that generally you will see far fewer ships in UK ports than say 20 years ago, that dosnt meen that the ports are not busy. Technology has caught up big time and no ship owner wants a ship alongside a minute longer than necessary. What used to take a gang of stevedores 4 or 5 days is now done by 2 or 3 men in 6 hours. Of course all ports have there ups and downs with trade but I think things are generally pretty good at the moment.


15th February 2006, 16:56
the major ports are generally handling more cargo than they did 10-20 years ago. There are some interesting statistics here:

However, it is without doubt that there are fewer ship movements and this, I imagine, is due to larger vessels and more efficient transportation methods such as container, roro, etc.

15th February 2006, 17:24
I have no idea whether there is fewer ship movements or not, but if you go to Ryde or Cowes here on the Isle of Wight, there is constant movement of shipping or ships anchored of Cowes or off Bembridge. And if you cross the channel you will ship after ship in each channel north and south. When we came up the channel last September on Pride of Bilbao our viewing from her decks changed from whale and dolphin spotting to ship after ship, so many in fact that my memory card became full long before we got to Portsmouth. Therefore, I am not so sure that there are fewer shipping movements. When we go down to Bilbao again in September with SN members, you can be sure that we will come back with lots of pictures. David