As part of the agreement, ABP will invest £19 million in a new purpose-built terminal, which will be constructed at Ocean Dock opposite the site of the old Ocean Terminal. It is due to open in 2009.
Carnival UK comprises the cruise brands of P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line and Ocean Village.
As part of the deal, the company will also be given priority use of the port’s QEII and Mayflower Terminals.
Carnival UK chief executive officer David Dingle said: “The new terminal agreement comes as we prepare to base further new ships in Southampton including Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria, which was named in the city on Monday, and P&O Cruises’ Ventura which will be home-ported here from next April.
“Our new ships are testament to the growth of the cruise industry, the strength of its links with Southampton and its massive economic contribution to the region, and it is fitting that they will sail from a new state-of-the-art terminal in the city.”