Sea or shore… the choice is yours!

For our second special feature on cruising this year, Meri Williams provides an update on the programmes of some of the most group-friendly cruise operators, and their ports of call. We also take a look at the growing trend for Round Britain trips, and hear some first hand experiences of group cruising, including the activities of some real ship enthusiasts.

Cruising

According to the European Cruise Council, over 5.5 million Europeans took a cruise in 2010, a 10% increase from the previous year, and it looks like GTOs are increasingly adding to this number. The range of choices for group cruising is everincreasing as cruise lines and operators recognise the importance of the group market. Such choices include length of voyage, destinations and departure points, specialist activities, types of vessel and an assortment of excursions. You don’t even have to leave the British Isles for a cruise, with a growing number of Round Britain cruises being made available. Added to this is the popularity of ex-UK cruises where groups can elect to travel from the British mainland. Liners, of course, also leave from ports all over the world and your group can take the option of a fly-cruise or add a short voyage as an extra activity to an itinerary when visiting an area. Cruise companies and operators have gone to great lengths to create itineraries and excursions that groups can enjoy at each port of call. The world is your oyster, and to help pin point the different cruise lines around the world, at the end of this feature you will, once again, find a comprehensive map that lists all the major players in the market, and where they sail from and to. With the fourth National Cruise Week having just taken place as this issue went to press, there are sure to be further developments to report in coming months.

Just for groups

There are many benefits to choosing a cruise as a group trip, and one of these is that there aren’t going to be many extra expenses, making it easier to budget. A number of lines offer allinclusive deals, and those that do not often include meals and entertainment in the booking price.
A number of lines or cruise operators, including CroisiEurope, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines, Hurtigruten, MSC Cruises and Princess Cruises, offer incentives for groups such as special fares, cabin upgrades, complimentary activities or room hire, free onboard spend, promotional material and assistance with travel planning. Look out too for deals from Voyages of Discovery and Voyages to Antiquity. And UKbased group cruise specialist, Cruise for Groups, assists GTOs and cruise lines by offering group packages. GTOs are advised to check with individual lines about the benefits they provide.

Truly cultural experiences are on offer from Voyages of Discover y.

Truly cultural experiences are on offer from Voyages of Discover y.

South Quay Travel & Leisure, the official groups department of Cruise & Maritime Voyages, has recently released their ‘Especially for Groups’ 2012 cruise collection, offering group benefits and special offers on all 64 scheduled cruises aboard the ships Marco Polo and Ocean Countess. The new brochure is valid from December 2011 to October 2012. With Cruise & Maritime, a group constitutes a minimum of just 12 adult passengers and the benefits package includes savings of 10% on all 2012 cruises, in addition to the new early booking saver fares for bookings made by 31 October 2011, which already offer savings of up to 25%. There is also one free place for 15 and two free places for 40 paying passengers, a special onboard welcoming cocktail party and preferential group dining arrangements.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is known for its excellent service to groups, and offers a choice of very attractive benefits to GTOs who achieve their targets. Additionally, for 2012/13, the programme includes a choice of 39 cruises, to a variety of destinations, which offer groups double free added benefits; namely, both free onboard spending credit and free transport. On most cruises, groups will qualify for one of these special concessions; either free onboard spending credit (the amount depending on the size of the group and duration of the cruise), or free transport (coach transfers to and from the departure port, or free parking at the port.) The special cruises offer both benefits, along with all the other special extras available to groups, which include group-saver fares, details of which can be obtained from the Group Sales Department. Other benefits available to groups include drinks parties, hospitality desks, prearranged and enhanced afternoon teas and group photographs. All groups that achieve their group passenger targets, ranging between 12 and 20 passengers (depending on the cruise chosen), also qualify for one free cruise place for the group travel organiser.
Italian line, MSC Cruises, are currently working with Cruise for Groups to offer free transfers or car parking when booking a cruise, as well as offering new itineraries to the Canary Islands. The company runs a number of incentive schemes for GTOs, including their ‘Music Points’ scheme, which offers groups booked on selected sailings the chance to redeem points against a host of benefits including cocktail parties, on board credit and wine tasting.

The casino onboard Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess.

The casino onboard Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess.

Princess Cruises, meanwhile, are also collaborating with Cruise for Groups to offer certain group benefits such as the equivalent of around £50 on board credit, free transfers and a below market price cruise cost, with savings from £100 upwards. Cruise for Groups are also in discussion with Princess Cruises about offering special group cabin allocations.

Coastal debuts

According to the Passenger Shipping Association’s Cruise Review, in 2010 there was an 6% increase to 1.62 million British people taking a cruise, mainly thanks to the arrival of new ships across the market including P&O’s Azura and Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth. Fourteen ships were added this year, bringing the total number of berths to more than 32,000 across the global cruise fleet.
This looks set to grow with the addition of more new coastal cruise ships, such as the coastal cruise company set up by CroisiEurope CroisiMer’s MS La Belle de l’Adriatique. The vessel is the company’s first maritime boat, and its creation heralds great prospects of development for the company.
Equipped with the latest technology, La Belle de l’Adriatique required an investment of 30 million Euros. At 110 metres long, 12.80 metres wide, weighing 3,500 tons and drawing 2.5 metres of water, the ship has five decks, the latest generation of stabilisers and a capacity of 200 passengers and 50 crew members.
Fully adapted to navigate at sea, its design is certified to VERITAS standards, a genuine guarantee of quality and safety. Cruises on the vessel for 2012 include a selection of Mediterranean voyages with each one spanning different destinations; options include Spain (Barcelona, Malaga, Valencia), Italy (Naples, Rome), Canary Islands (Tenerife, Las Palmas, San Sebastian), Greece (Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Nakos and Kos).
P&O Cruises is one of the largest lines operating from the UK, with seven ships based in Southampton. It offers a range of relatively short distance cruises to the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the Canary Islands, as well as more epic journeys and its new 3,611 passenger superliner will be designed to attract first time cruisers at its launch in 2015. The new liner is set to take all the best elements of P&O’s ships, but promises to add different features to be revealed at a later date. Single cabins are a confirmed bonus, and the ship will be based in Southampton. Itineraries are yet to be confirmed.
Joining the Princess Cruises’ fleet in May 2013, the new Royal Princess will hold 3,600 passengers and will offer an even larger and expanded atrium with additional entertainment and casual dining options, as well as the SeaWalkSM & SeaView Bar – a first-of-its kind enclosed walkway extending from the top deck of the ship, plus a port side cantilevered bar, each with glass floors and amazing ocean views. Dazzling evening water and light shows and a new upper-deck pool exclusively for adults are also amongst the new features.
MSC Divina, the third and latest addition to the MSC Cruises’ flagship Fantasia class, was ceremoniously floated out of dry dock B of the STX Europe ship yard in Saint-Nazaire, France on 3rd September, and transferred to dock C for final fitting and furnishing ahead of her christening in May next year.
Representing a major milestone in the mammoth build of the new 140,000 ton, 4,363 passenger cruise ship, it will become the 12th of the MSC Cruises’ fleet. The new ship is named in honour of Sophia Loren, Italian film goddess and patron of the MSC Cruises’ fleet. A notable addition to the ship will be the aft infinity Garden Pool, designed and decorated as a heavenly deluxe area for quiet retreat.

Small and intimate

In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from the major ports of the Mediterranean and south east Asia, Voyages to Antiquity has a mid-sized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. This means that the MV Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbours and sail closer to the coast, enabling your group to really appreciate the magical views. Also thanks to its smaller size, Croisimer’s MS La Belle de l’Adriatique is able to hug the Adriatic coastline and berth in the smallest of ports, because of its size. A smaller ship does not mean a small experience however, as you will find many facilities, dining experiences and entertainment on board, as you would on larger ships. For example, LaBelle de L’Adriatique includes a dining room, lounge, bar with dancefloor, panorama bar, sundeck, Jacuzzis, library, terrace, nursery, lift, gift shop and wi-fi.
With 352 passengers, the Spirit of Adventure is another smaller ship, but its voyages are not. Stop-offs include Eritrea and Djibouti, Sudan, Borneo, and more off the map regions such as Kudat, Bintulu, Kuching and Sandakan in Malaysia.

MSC Lirica will be based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai this winter.

MSC Lirica will be based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai this winter.

Escape to the winter sun

If escaping the chill and finding winter sun is what your group needs, then departing in February 2012, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ liner, Black Watch, is voyaging to Europe, the Middle East and India. Opportunities include views of the Suez Canal as the Black Watch leaves behind the Mediterranean for the Red Sea, tours of the Pyramids of Giza from Port Said, and discovering the exotic ports of Salalah, Oman and Cochin in India. Exploring the untouched Andaman Islands is also on the itinerary, as well as the opportunity to discover one of the most populous cities in the world, Mumbai, and absorb the many cultural influences which have helped shape it, during an overnight stay.
A 20-day cruise to 12 ports of call including the Bahamas, Florida, Barbados and the Virgin Islands features in the itinerary for Princess Cruises’ 20-day Caribbean Grand Adventure cruise departing all through the winter and up to March 2012 whilst MSC Cruises recently announced the United Arab Emirates as a new destination for its 2011-12 winter season. The elegant MSC Lirica will be based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and the itinerary includes a full schedule of 19 8 day-7 night cruises, with departures every Sunday from 30th October through to 4th March 2012 from Abu Dhabi and from Dubai, departures every Friday, from 28th October to 9th March 2012. MSC Lirica will call at the port of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, Al Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, and include two unforgettable and unprecedented nights in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
A journey to the Island of the Gods with its varied landscape of rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush terraces and volcanic hillsides departs in January 2013 with Voyages to Antiquity. Starting from Hong Kong, the journey calls at Manila, Borneo, Pare Pare, Ujung Pandang and Lombok in Indonesia. Or, if sailing off from the vibrant city of Singapore is more your kind of thing then with the same line, Passage to India and Sri Lanka takes you to Malacca, Penang, Colombo, Kandy, the historic Malabar Coast, with a five-day land tour of India’s Golden Triangle: Jaipur, Agra and Delhi, also in January 2013.

Exploring and discovering

For those groups who prefer to engage in exploration and discovery of the regions and ports of call their ship visits, certain cruise lines are targeted more at this than others.

Chania in Crete is one of the destinations you can explore with Voyages to Antiquity.

Chania in Crete is one of the destinations you can explore with Voyages to Antiquity.

Voyages to Antiquity has created a cruise experience that is not only for groups specialising in amateur or professional history, but also for people who simply want to understand the heritage, art, myths and culture of the ancient world. A Voyages to Antiquity cruise to the Mediterranean on board MV Agean Odyssey aims to open a window into the origins and genius of western civilisation. As well as visiting breathtaking archaeological treasures, groups will also see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world and experience the magnificent food of the Mediterranean and The Orient. Groups can hear talks by celebrated speakers who have been carefully selected for their knowledge of the art, history, archaeology, architecture, wine and cuisine of the areas the cruise line visits. These informative and enlightening talks bring to life the history of the remarkable civilisations and cultures of the Mediterranean and the Far East. Examples of the itineraries on offer include ‘The Light of Greece’ looking at the heroes of classical Greece, which takes in Athens, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Crete, historic Rhodes, Troy, Istanbul and Mount Athos. The cruise also includes a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Athens.
Voyages of Discovery, meanwhile, lives up to its name, and offers group participation in their new ‘Footloose Programme’ where in each port of call, a tour has been specially designed to give groups of keen hikers and seasoned walkers the opportunity to get off the beaten track, explore untamed landscapes and discover the area’s most magnificent scenery, which is often inaccessible by road, joined by a specialist, knowledgeable local and enthusiastic ‘Footloose’ guide. Groups might be interested in particular in the ‘D-Day, Normandy, Dunkirk and Beyond’ cruise, which is to be held on the anniversary of D-Day itself.

Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol travels through Norway

Hurtigruten’s Midnatsol travels through Norway

Cruising, of course, opens up destinations that other forms of travel are unable to reach, and none are more remote than the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Hurtigruten is one line that offers a comprehensive collection of voyages to remote, beautiful and dramatic coastlines in the far north and south. A range of popular cruises are offered along the Norwegian coast and to more unusual destinations such as Greenland. One of its unique cruises is the Polar Circle Quest, which departs from Buenos Aires and sails deep into the Southern Ocean to take passengers to the Antarctic Circle. Hurtigruten has also launched its ‘Explorer Voyages’ for 2012/13 with a range of new itineraries including a new ‘National Park Expedition’ encompassing three Arctic islands and the largest National Park in the world – the Northeast Greenland National Park. The operator has also doubled the number of departures on its most popular Antarctica voyage, ‘The Classic Expedition’.

Travel to the Arctic on the Marco Polo with Cruise & Maritime.

Travel to the Arctic on the Marco Polo with Cruise & Maritime.

With Cruise & Maritime, groups can cruise to the legendary ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ and the rarely visited Northern Isles in a voyage of discovery traversing the Arctic Circle and circumnavigating Iceland. You can explore this remote island of vast ice caps, geothermal pools and bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers and active volcanoes on board the Marco Polo.

Round Britain Cruises

CRUISE LINES are increasing their round trip (ex-UK) cruises more and more every year to meet growing demand for passengers who want to get away on holiday without flying. Cruising from a UK port could not be easier because it removes the ‘hassle factor’ of possible flight delays, missing luggage, strict and confusing restrictions on hand luggage and the hassle of lugging baggage through busy airports.

Whilst the vast majority of cruisers usually opt for voyages travelling to Europe and beyond, there are a growing number of holidaymakers that are choosing to take in the many highlights that Britain and Ireland have to offer.

Round Britain Cruises

Round Britain Cruises

Round Britain cruises are gaining popularity amongst groups, and are indeed helping the economy too. Kate O’Hara, Chair of CruiseBritain, comments that “A typical 2,000 berth cruise ship can bring £170,000 into the local economy. This level of spend is significant and reaffirms our belief that the cruise market has huge potential for British tourism”.

You’ll simply be blown away as you’re able to cram months of driving and sightseeing into a two-week itinerary that offers just as much to see than cruises further afield.

The British Isles are so compact and densely populated that time onboard your ship is minimal, leaving guests to explore the culture, monuments, history, nightlife and breathtaking scenery that Britain and Ireland offer in abundance. Where else could you find it possible to combine the fantastic Eden Project in Cornwall with the beauty and mystical charm of the Orkney Islands or Outer Hebrides, along with trips to the buzzing party cities of Dublin and Londonderry, as well as Cobh, the Titanic’s last stop before its fateful journey, and the embarkation point for millions of Irish people who emigrated to the US in the 19th century, and the Channel Islands, with their peculiarly old-English ambience located just off the French coast?

Even as you’re transported around the coastlines of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland in ultimate style and comfort, you’ll be treated to some stunning sights such as the epic White Cliffs of Dover and every port you find yourself in will be different from the last.

The British weather can be notoriously unreliable, but with some pleasant and sometimes very hot weather in the summer months, Britain and Ireland cruise holidays are best enjoyed at this time of year.

So for wonderful holiday experiences combining the bustle and excitement of Britain and Ireland’s major cities with some largely undiscovered gems, a British Isles cruise fits the bill.

Examples of cruise lines that offer Round Britain itineraries include VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY, P&O and FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES.

Ocean Liner Society

Many groups go cruising because they love the experience of travelling and relaxing at sea, but OCEAN LINER SOCIETY (OLS) members go because they love the ships. OLS is a nonprofit organisation whose members celebrate the passenger ship in its many forms, including liners of yesteryear, the cruise ships of today and ferries. Members include employees of major shipping companies, authors and ship buffs, inveterate travellers and armchair sailors. They receive a quarterly magazine Sea Lines – 48 colour pages of detailed articles by noted maritime authors on ocean liners and cruise ships, plus all the latest passenger ship news.
One part of the society’s activities is the organising of group cruises; the society likes to organise at least one a year. Members often look for something a bit different in the way of vessels and locations with an interesting itinerary, with a preference for a European departure point. Past cruises with the society have included journeys on the Spanish line PULLMANTUR’S Oceanic and Sky Wonder.

Pullmantur’s Oceanic.

Pullmantur’s Oceanic.

The OLS group bookings are handled together, which means any special perks, events or information gets to everyone. They have an open email list of people going on the group cruise, so that everyone can share thoughts and ideas on getting there and back, ports of call and whether anyone wants to bring along material for a talk. The society’s cruises are generally not those that can be booked in average high street travel agents, and the OLS tends to choose specialist agencies who are able to get their groups on the ships they want. As a key element of the cruise, the OLS takes part in and attends special talks and behind the scenes tours as well as arranges bridge and engine room visits.
The OLS says that one great thing about cruises with other ship enthusiasts is that there is usually someone who knows something about the ports and their attractions, and in most ports groups head off to do things together!
Proposed cruises are communicated to members through the OLS website, email newsletter, monthly meetings, at cruise shows and most importantly in the ‘Engine Room’ section of Sea Lines.

You can join the OLS or find out more information by visiting their website:
WWW.OCEANLINER-SOCIETY.COM, or writing to them at:
THE OCEAN LINER SOCIETY, MAYES HOUSE, VANSITTART ESTATE, WINDSOR SL4 1SE ENGLAND.

Spotlight on Group Cruising

MANCASS’s first group cruise plain sailing

Bob Walker of MANCASS on his inaugural group cruise.

Bob Walker of MANCASS on his inaugural group cruise.

Group Travel Organiser Bob Walker of MANCASS has just started cruising – but reports a very positive experience for his group. “We have so far only been on one cruise, and for this we used NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE (NCL) as we wanted the ‘Freestyle’ type of on board experience”. Bob is very pleased about his trip, telling us that the cruise was “fantastic, made even better by the special arrangements for our group on board and events such as the group cocktail party”. Booking a cruise for a group is much like choosing one for an individual, Bob explains, but says you do have to be aware of some extra details. He prefers to use group agents for cruises. After his initial success, he has lined up two further bookings with NCL for his group next year, and compliments the cruise line on the way they dealt with his booking, excursions and special group-related requests.

Viv’s first foray into cruising proves a success
Viv Sadd, Chair for the Lloyds TSB S&S Club in Bristol also highly recommends the group cruising experience. Booking with Cruise for Groups, she sailed with HURTIGRUTEN in Norway on the Richard With. Booking with a specialist agent such as Cruise for Groups she says was a pleasure as they “know their products and are very passionate about cruising, just ask them any question to test them!” Flying from Gatwick to Tromso, her group picked up the ship there and sailed north to Kirkenes and back again.

Viv Sadd, Chair for the Lloyds TSB S&S Club

Viv Sadd, Chair for the Lloyds TSB S&S Club

She chose Hurtigruten for a number of reasons – it being the only coastal ferry for Norway, and that it goes a long way north where you get the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. She also comments that “these cruise ships help the local communities survive.” Viv’s group loved the cruise ship and the feeling of the fresh air and being in Norway. She adds that it must have done them a lot of good, as nobody got a cold this year! She also mentions that there were a few added group benefits on the cruise line including being seated at the ship’s bigger tables, which was good for a group her size. They also got a better deal on the discounts because of being a large group, which meant free places. Viv and her group hope to book another cruise in the future – and have their eye on the Hurtigruten trip to Svalbard to see the polar bears, seals and walrus in the summer.

Focus on Ports

Acontinued rise in the number of UK passengers cruising from UK ports has more than offset a fall in the number of overseas passengers choosing to start their cruise in the UK. A growing number of ports are benefiting more and more from cruise departures and ship calls with Portsmouth the latest to be added to the list that are performing well according to the Passenger Shipping Association.

PORTSMOUTH INTERNATIONAL PORT is owned by Portsmouth City Council, and all the profits are ploughed back into the city and local community. The council has funded significant investment in the port’s infrastructure since 1976, while the Port’s annual surplus is used mainly to reduce council tax in the city. Councillor Mike Hancock, CBE MP, Executive Member for the port, says it makes a significant contribution to the local economy, and investment in the new terminal is “key to it maintaining its position.”On the 13th May, Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, officially opened Portsmouth’s new passenger terminal, part of a £16.5 million investment in the port’s new passenger facilities. As well as a striking glass and steel construction, the light and spacious terminal is designed to be one of the most environmentally friendly public buildings in the UK. With work completed ahead of schedule, the new terminal is already being used by ferry and cruise ship passengers. The new facilities have attracted a record number of visiting cruise companies in 2011 and, in the first six months, there were 34 cruise ship calls at Portsmouth. All Leisure Group Limited, owners of the SWAN HELLENIC brand, VOYAGES OF DISCOVERY and HEBRIDEAN ISLAND CRUISES have based three ships at the port for their summer season. Other notable visitors include the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER, an expedition cruise ship, and FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES’ BOUDICCA.

Wales’ cruise business is also suprisingly buoyant. The PORT OF HOLYHEAD, located on the Isle of Anglesey, lies in a well-protected position due east of Holyhead Mountain, shielded from the Irish Sea by the historic one and a half-mile long breakwater. It is a 24-hour, deep water, lock–free port, and with an alongside depth of 10.5 metres, large cruise ships are easily accommodated at the new cruise terminal, which opened earlier this year. The port is operated by Stena Line Ports Ltd, who are the statutory Harbour Authority. It has become the premier Welsh cruise liner destination largely due to the fact that it is ideally placed for the whole of the Irish Sea cruise market. Although Holyhead is a deep water port, cruise arrivals were hampered by the lack of a berthing facility necessitating the use of the ships’ tenders to ferry passengers ashore to meet their excursions departures but thanks to the new cruise terminal, they now berth alongside what was the old Anglesey Aluminium Jetty used for commercial ships bringing raw materials for the aluminium smelting process, and are helped by a free shuttle bus running to the town centre. Cruise ships such as FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES’ BOUDICCA, which piloted a turnaround cruise last November, and PRINCESS’ GOLDEN PRINCESS are now a familiar sight, substantially helped by the effectiveness of the organisation CruiseWales, which helped turn around the sudden decline in bookings experienced following the opening of Liverpool’s alongside berth in 2007 and made government officers in Wales as well as the tourist board chiefs appreciate the value of cruise passengers into the Welsh economy. Passengers and crew arriving into Wales by cruise ship this year will have contributed £2,500,000 into the Welsh economy during 2011 and this is a figure set to increase as the cruise trade is reputed to grow at about 9% year on year. The port is currently awaiting a possible judicial review of Liverpool’s bid to allow turnaround calls on its new cruise berth before it decides the future potential of any further turnarounds.

The port of Liverpool’s alongside berth.

The port of Liverpool’s alongside berth.

Holyhead’s success may be dented if the PORT OF LIVERPOOL, owned by the Peel Ports Group, is successful in raising its status from a day-stop to a full terminal where cruise journeys can begin and end. Cllr Joe Anderson of Liverpool City Council, said: “There is a huge amount of support for our turnaround facility campaign from MPs and local authorities across our region. Having a turnaround facility will not just benefit Liverpool. We estimate the knock-on effect will be worth millions of pounds for the region as a whole, and of course it will help expand the UK’s cruise industry which can only benefit all the other ports across the country.” The argument is that EU mandates have halted the European-funded alongside berth, completed in 2007, from being a turnaround terminal. Many other UK ports have received EU funding for status upgrades such as this, and campaigners believe this is unfair. In return for lifting the restrictions, Liverpool City Council would pay back £5.3m in government grants over 15 years. Cunard have indicated that they would be happy to base cruise ships in Liverpool but there is opposition to the campaign from Southampton and a council-backed drive set up by the UK Cruise Port Alliance (UKCPA), who argue that using taxpayers’ money to build the privately-run cruise terminal facility and allowing it to be used for turnaround cruise trade is unfair competition. The last Labour government also held this view, but now Liverpool’s port owners have launched this new bid, offering grant repayments, Southampton port fears that the Government will give it the green light. If the Department for Transport makes a decision in favour of Liverpool, due later this month, it is likely that Southampton will apply for a judicial review.