MARCH 01, 2017

Portland Port’s cruise season is looking to be a record breaking one with the greatest number of cruise passengers to date. Furthermore, 2017 will also see a record number of inaugural calls during an extended season, running from April to November. Overall the port is expecting to handle 24 cruise ships bringing over 36,000 passengers into Portland. Of these 24 calls, 10 will be first time visitors.
The Port’s cruise season will be starting in spectacular fashion with two first time visitors calling on 26th April. The Seabourn Quest and Holland America Line’s Rotterdam will be bringing over 1,800 passengers between them. Seabourn is the upmarket sister to Holland America Line and operates a small fleet of luxury vessels around the globe. The visit of the Quest is the first of two planned for 2017.

The inaugural visit attracting the most attention is that being made by the Disney Magic, which Portland Port announced last year to be calling in May 2017. Since that announcement, Disney have subsequently decided to add a second call to Portland to their 2017 itineraries and the ship will now be welcomed back to the port again in July. Ian McQuade, General Manager – Commercial at Portland Port said “this is a major coup for Portland Port. Securing one call from such a globally renowned and world recognised brand really is great recognition of all the hard work put in by the port to establish itself as a destination of choice for the cruise industry, but to receive a second call in the same year is simply fantastic for the Port and the local area”. Due to the nature of Disney’s customers and the size of the vessels in Disney Cruise Lines fleet, Ian McQuade is optimistic that these cruise calls could be the beginning of Disney Cruise Lines becoming regular visitors to Portland Port.

Other exciting new visitors to Portland Port in 2017 include the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) ship Norwegian Jade and TUI Cruises vessel Mein Schiff 4. NCL first visited Portland in 2015 whilst TUI made their inaugural call in 2016. Mr. McQuade commented “whilst it is always exciting to see new cruise lines and new ships calling at Portland the return of such important customers as Norwegian and TUI is testament to the great experience their guests had when they previously called. This is essential for the long-term success of the business”. From information gathered last year, more than three-quarters of all cruise passengers coming into Portland spend their time in Dorset, either on booked excursions or taking the complimentary shuttle bus into Weymouth. This year these visitors will add nearly £2 million to the local economy whilst they are in the region.