Carnival, the firm which owns P&O Cruises and Cunard, has announced redundancies after all cruise liners globally were taken off the water due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Daily Echo, 450 positions are at immediate risk, but there are fears that if the cruise sector faces a slow recovery, many more of the 1,100 locally employed workers may lose their jobs.
Staff who are not immediately made redundant will be asked to reduce their weekly hours by at least one fifth until November, when restrictions on travel are expected to be somewhat eased.
The news comes on the same day that the government announced an extension of the furlough scheme by four months to October.
Carnival UK president Josh Weinstein has praised staff for their hard work and adaptability, but has said that cutbacks are essential for the long-term viability of the business. A consultation on job losses is expected to be completed by 30th June.
Cunard first started using the Southampton docks, then called Ocean Dock, in 1922 and helped to make the local site the busiest cruise terminal and second largest container port in the UK.