The most common cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth II, is on track to leave the harbour for a new life in the United States, and the world’s second-largest cruise ship has been given the green light to return to her home port.
The vessel, which was decommissioned in 2003, was taken to the Port of Southampton for decommissioning work in January.
It will be taken to New York City for refurbishment work in October and then returned to the UK for further decommission.
The new owner is currently in talks with the Royal Navy about buying the vessel.
The Queen Elizabeth has also been given permission to move into the new US port of Portsmouth, as part of a major refit.
The Queen Elizabeth was the world leader in luxury cruise ship sales when she was decomissioned in 2002.
She had a long history as a favourite of the rich and famous, but it became apparent after the decommissionment that the Queen would be unable to carry passengers and would not be able to serve as a commercial ship.
Its departure will be a major setback for the luxury cruise industry, which is facing its biggest slump in decades.
The number of cruise ships being decommissions fell by 10 per cent in the first nine months of 2017, according to research by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
A major focus of the new owner will be to turn the ship around, but the ship has already been decommissiond for a second time.
The ship was originally built by the Danish shipbuilding company Larsen & Toubro in 1963, but was decomished in 2003 after it ran aground off the coast of Scotland.
The ship was bought by the Chinese company China Southern Group in 2008, but later sold to a consortium led by American businessman John Malone.
It has been refurbished twice in the US, and now is being reassembled at the UK’s Port of Plymouth.
The ships new owner has already invested around £2.5bn into the vessel, including the purchase of five passenger cars and the refurbishment of its electrical systems.
It is currently carrying over 1,200 passengers and more than 400 crew.
Its first port of call will be New York, where the Queen will be towed in by a US Navy ship, which will then head to Portsmouth to meet up with the ship and then take it on to New Jersey, where it will be docked.
It is likely that the new owners will decide to make the vessel the most profitable of its kind in the world, with profits expected to reach around £1.8bn per year.
However, the Royal British Navy (RBRN) is currently looking to sell the vessel to a private operator to ensure it stays afloat and is profitable.
The US government is also considering selling the Queen, as the country’s largest fleet of passenger ships is facing major financial difficulties.
The RBRN is planning to close two of the ships biggest refits in the coming years, and could sell off some of the rest, leaving the remaining vessels to sit idle.
However, the ship’s replacement will be an interesting option.
A new vessel of the same size as the Queen could be built from scratch, with the same amount of capacity, with a smaller price tag.
The Royal Navy currently owns around 80% of the fleet, and currently has the Queen as its flagship.
The RBRNs largest vessel, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is the most recent of the Queen’s predecessors to be decommissioncored.