Portland UK Port’s Unscheduled Cruise Calls Boost Local Economy

Queen Mary 2

UK’s Portland Port in Dorset, England welcomed multiple unscheduled cruise calls this summer, boosting the local economy, according to a press release.

The port accommodated five last-minute cruise calls after ships were unable to dock at their original destinations. Among these were Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, Ambassador Cruise Line’s Ambience, Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess, and Saga’s Spirit of Adventure.

Most recently, Plantours Kreuzfahrten’s MS Hamburg made its unplanned maiden visit to Portland, bringing 360 guests onboard. 

From mid-May to July, these additional ships have brought in over 8,500 passengers.

According to industry data from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), these visits contributed approximately £750,000 to the local economy.

Ian McQuade, general manager commercial at Portland Port and chair of Cruise Britain, said: “It is always a pleasure to welcome cruise ships on unscheduled visits.

“The unscheduled calls total five to date this year, out of 10 inquiries. They reflect the area’s increasing popularity for cruise calls and represent a further valuable boost of circa £750,000 for the local hospitality and tourism industry.

“Our location, new deepwater berths which allow the largest cruise ships to moor alongside and our reputation for pulling out the stops to accommodate visiting vessels make the port an attractive proposition for cruise lines on both scheduled and unscheduled visits.

“Our thanks go to our dedicated and responsive team, including our contracted shuttle bus operators and welcome team, who have been able to help us accommodate the unscheduled ships and their passengers at very short notice.”

The Queen Mary 2, originally on a short cruise visiting French and Belgian ports, was redirected to Portland due to strikes affecting Le Havre, France.

Ian said: “The feedback we have had is that the crew and passengers on the Queen Mary 2 were very happy with their visit which coincided with the popular Wessex Folk Festival on Weymouth harborside.

“Although she has been to the port before, during Covid, this was her first transit visit and the first by a Cunard ship. It represented another milestone in the development of the port’s cruise business and its support for local businesses and the supply chain.”


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