Representatives from a range of businesses at the UK’s Portland Port were given a tour of the ‘Regal Princess’ when the Princess Cruises’ vessel called as part of a 12-day cruise around the British Isles on 13th August.
The cruise ship is 330 m long and can accommodate 3,560 pax and 1,346 crew.
A total of 57 cruise calls have been booked for this year at Portland, with 130,000 passengers being welcomed.
Portland port employs 53 staff, with a further 220 people utilised by commercial port occupiers. .
Ian McQuade, Portland Port’s Commercial General Manager, and Chair of Cruise Britain, said: “Businesses at the port have seen our cruise activity grow and develop over recent years – this was a lovely opportunity to provide our customers with a tour of the Regal Princess, with lunch on board.”
Based on figures from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) trade body for spend per head of passenger, the local economy in Portland and Weymouth benefits by around £10 mill annually.
This amount includes spending in shops, bars and cafes, along with expenditure on taxis, coaches, shuttle buses and tours.
McQuade also confirmed that bookings from cruise lines planning their itineraries are already being taken for next year, 2025 and 2026.
“The £26 mill investment in our newly redeveloped deepwater berth, officially launched in June, also means cruise ships of up to 350 m in length can now be accepted rather than having to go elsewhere. ‘Regal Princess’ was berthed at the facility, which has been in regular use since it opened to shipping.
“In the last eight years the port has invested more than £40 mill in developing infrastructure and more than £3 mill in repairs and maintenance; it is this investment that has enabled the port’s continued growth and development, not least in the growth of the cruise business,” he said.
Earlier this summer, for the first time, Portland Port also hosted trade association Cruise Britain’s annual summer gathering.
Delegates came from across the UK for the two-day event hosted in partnership with Princess Cruises, including representatives from cruise lines, ports, tour operators and service providers.
More than 50 delegates attended, with many staying overnight in Weymouth and Portland.