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Pathfinder Personnel faces one of its busiest cruise seasons ever as P&O’s twin Excel Class ships Iona and Arvia operate in tandem from Southampton throughout the summer season.

Both ships have capacity for 6,000 passengers and demand a major logistics operation with each call, particularly for Pathfinder sister company Cruise and Passenger Services (CPS), which provides passengers with valet parking services.

CPS, largely staffed by agency personnel supplied by Pathfinder, is entrusted with looking after an expected 800 vehicles every time one of the ships departs from Southampton, primarily from the Eastern Docks.

With parking space in that area of the docks limited, the logistics challenge will involve moving hundreds of cars from the passenger terminal to a nearby safe and secure site specifically designed to accommodate the unprecedented demand.

The operations will require a dedicated service on the day of the ships’ berthing, after they have left port, in the run up to their return and the day of their return. Pathfinder provides dozens of staff for CPS and over the past few months has been busily recruiting in preparation for the hectic schedule.

CPS Cruise Operations Manager Louis Colpitts explained: “This summer will be like no other in terms of supporting two such big ships on a regular basis. We are recruiting both day and night shift staff for CPS to carry out tasks that are essential to the port turnaround operations of Iona and Arvia.”

CPS’ reception staff and drivers can expect to get even busier as other Carnival UK ships also gear up for their programmes of Southampton-based cruises during the summer.

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