James Bond Cruise ship
I was to set out on a cruise from Southampton Docks. As always when I visit a new city I look to see if there are any James Bond/ Ian Fleming locations that I can stop by. As it turns out, Southampton did feature in Diamonds Are Forever. Bond sets off to London with Tiffany Case with both Willard Whyte and Felix Leiter waving them off.
The James Bond Cruise scene was set in Los Angeles but actually filmed at Southampton Docks, presumably for convenience purposes, maybe tax breaks. I found an article on a blog called Disused Stations to be of great use. After reaching out to the editor asking where the dock was, he informed me
‘Mayflower cruise terminal at 105/6 Berth. At least that’s what it was called then.’
Sadly the terminal was inaccessible and we were sailing out of a different dock. Although as it came closer to the time, I learned we were actually leaving from the Mayflower Terminal, so set off earlier to see it.
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Don’t tell them which direction I’m heading
Sadly the berth is for security only and the boat is only accessible via a gangway. You simply can’t wave people off from the ports any more like the old days. So finding the exact spot where Willard Whyte & Felix Leiter wave off James Bond & Tiffany Case was tricky to say the least.
I couldn’t get down to the berth itself but it’s identifiable for the tracks still in the ground and the fortress like pilasters around the doors. The top of the terminal has been modernised so people can’t wave off the balcony.
If people want to visit this location you’ll need some special security pass, I asked everyone but couldn’t get through. Still it was fun trying and I got very close. You also don’t have to get on the boat to get to the window, that’s open to the public.
There are more photos to be found at the Daily Echo. Plus an image of Sean Connery and the film’s director Guy Hamilton at the dock.