In the early 1960s British Rail ended their ferry services from Southampton to France and the Channel Islands. Soon after a number of private companies began operating cross Channel car ferries from the port, the first being Norwegian Thoresen Car Ferries in May 1964. The new services at first used the Outer Dock, with existing facilities being adapted. However, the docks management soon embarked on a major redevelopment of the Inner/Outer Docks to accommodate the new services. The Inner Dock was filled in and the area then used for car parks; the entrance to the outer dock was widened; and a new passenger terminal (image 2) was constructed adjacent to berths 2 and 3 in the Outer Dock. The new complex was opened in July 1967 by Princess Alexandra, and named in her honour. In the 1980s the ferry services transferred to the Western Docks and the Princess Alexandra Docks were converted into the Ocean Village leisure complex.
The dock basin walls (image 3) are original to the old Outer Dock and are now Grade II listed.

1. Princess Alexandra Dock

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Aerial view of the dock (in the foreground), 1970

2. ferry Terminal: Passenger Reception Hall

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Photograph, 1967

Dock Basin North Wall

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Photograph, c.2010


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