Southampton is the largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated 100 km (62 miles) south-west of London and 30 km (19 miles) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority.
Southampton is noted for its association with the RMS Titanic, the Spitfire and more recently a number of the largest cruise ships in the world.
The port is deeply connected to the Cunard Line and their fleet of ships, which are the only passenger vessels to be registered in this city (and thus wear the name "Southampton" on the stern).
Proudly continuing the tradition of luxury cruising that began in 1840, Queen Victoria was successfully launched in December 2007 and was named by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in a spectacular ceremony in Southampton.
In the spring of 2009, a fourth Cruise Terminal was opened in Southampton and Carnival Cruise Lines moved their international headquarters to Southampton, in recognition of the city's reputation as "the cruise capital of northern Europe"
Many of the world's largest cruise ships (including record-breaking vessels operated by P & O - Cunard's sister company based in the UK - and Royal Caribbean) can regularly be seen in Southampton Water.