This is much more than just a cruise stop or shopping destination. Its appeal lies with its diverse nightlife, retail opportunities, varied leisure facilities, superb art and heritage attractions, lively events and of course the charm of the bustling waterfront location.
Titanic enthusiasts can visit some of the city's major Titanic related sights which include war memorials, the former White Start headquarters and the Grapes pub.
Southampton's cultural offerings also include the award winning City Art Gallery and Southampton Guildhall, as well as fine theatres, galleries and international events such as the annual Boat Show.
If shopping is for you, why not visit WestQuay in Southampton. A state of the art shopping facility with almost a hundred shops to browse and buy. Whilst close to three further shopping centres, and traditional special shops making Southampton one of the top shopping destinations in Southern England.
As Southampton boasts one of the largest ports in the UK, it will come as no surprise that the maritime industry is the city’s most prominent industry. Within the Solent, around 15,000 jobs are provided directly and indirectly from this sector, and is worth more than £1 billion per year. A large part of this is due to the port handling a great number of vehicles, while the container terminal handles almost half of the nation’s trade with the Far East. Linked to the maritime industry is also the tourist sector, as Southampton is often considered to be the busiest cruise port in the UK.
Some of the biggest employers in the area are therefore cruise lines. Significant companies include P&O Cruises, Red Funnel, Cunard Line, and Carnival UK. Also in the area are Associated British Ports, who own the Port of Southampton, and a number of large sea vessel container specialists, such as Pentalver Transport and DP World Southampton.
Like Bournemouth, which is only around 30 miles away, Southampton is home to two universities - Southampton University and Southampton Solent. The former is one of the country’s leading universities when it comes to engineering, while the latter is renowned for its arts courses and creative programmes. A large number of graduates choose to stay in the area, thus these sectors are popular within the city.
Other significant sectors within the city include banking and financial services, along with a rapidly growing digital presence. Travel also makes up a large part of the job market in Southampton, with headquarters or major offices for companies such as South West Trains, and Garmin in the area, along with BAA Southampton International Airport.