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Portland Port's record year for cruise ships and passengers


PORTLAND Port's cruise ship boom continues as managers celebrate a record breaking year which saw some of the world's biggest liners bring thousands of foreign visitors to Dorset.

In a welcome money-spinner for the local economy and evidence the port is establishing itself as a major player in the industry, 2017 saw Portland receive its greatest number of cruise ships (26) and passengers (34,704) to date.

It is estimated the visitors added almost £2 million to the local economy whilst they were in the region. Many passengers spent their time in Dorset, either on booked excursions to attractions or taking the complimentary shuttle bus to Weymouth town centre.

Next year will see even more ships stopping off.

Ian McQuade, General Manager – Commercial at Portland Port said: "This year has been a record breaking cruise year for Portland Port and highlights the significant growth our cruise business has witnessed over the last ten years. In 2007 Portland Port received just three cruise calls, carrying a total of 1,599 passengers between them.

"Through dedicated business development, we have been able to improve and continue the growth as shown by the 26 cruise calls received this year, which carried a total of 34,704 passengers."

He added: "The cruise berth extension which was opened in April this year will further help to grow our cruise business by attracting ships that weren’t able to dock at Portland before. 2018 is going to be busier again which is fantastic for the port and the local area.

Visiting ships included the Disney Magic carrying 2,400 passengers – hopefully the first of many in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The season started in April with first time visitors – Seabourn Quest and Holland America Line’s Rotterdam bringing more than 1,800 passengers between them.