UK’s Portland Port cruise season is set to be another record-breaker.
With the dust finally starting to settle on the pandemic, the port is expecting 62 cruise ships to call at Portland this year.
This will also result in a record breaking number of guests, with over 112,000 people expected to visit the local area from many different nationalities, including German, Norwegian and American.
The cruise season kicked off on the 21st April with the ‘Hanseatic Inspiration’ making her maiden call at the port. The season is expected to run through until the 14th November when the ‘AIDAvita’ will bringing the 2022 cruise season to an end.
Portland has seen continued growth year upon year with more ships and cruise lines making Portland Port a regular part of their UK itineraries.
Out of the 62 ships coming to the island this season, 11 are inaugural visits.
This season’s first four calls were inaugural visits with the ‘Emerald Princess’ (pictured), ‘Enchanted Princess’ and Hurtigruten’s ‘Maud’ following the ‘Hanseatic Inspiration’ in visiting Portland for the first time.
Further inaugural ship visits will come from Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises and Holland America Lines, among others.
General Manager Commercial, Ian McQuade, commented; “It is great to see the cruise industry bounce back so strongly following two years so severely disrupted by the pandemic.
“To have over 60 calls and 112,000 guests scheduled to visit Portland Port this season is a phenomenal result. It is particularly gratifying to welcome so many first time visitors,” he said.
In addition to the inaugural calls, this year will also see Portland Port welcome returning visitors, such as the 1997-built ‘Disney Magic’ on the 12th September.
She first visited the port in May, 2017 and at the time she was the largest ship to ever visit Portland Port. She has since returned on three occasions.
McQuade added; “Whilst it is always exciting to welcome new lines and new ships, it is the continued support from the likes of Disney, Norwegian, Regent Seven Seas, Aida, Phoenix Reisen, Holland America and many others that proves we must be doing something right.
“We have built up strong relationships with all our cruise line customers and look forward to working with them in the future to further grow the Port’s cruise business,” he said.
With the return to more normal cruise operations, local businesses will once again be able to reap the economic reward that cruise passengers bring in, with the average spend per head for each visiting cruise passenger being around £80 in each port visited.