Portland Port begins £26 million cruise berth development

The new facility will be fully operational by 1 May 2023 and able to handle 350-metre-long ships

Portland Port begins £26 million cruise berth development

Portland Port

The new berth (not to scale) will accommodate 350-metre-long cruise ships and will be operational by 1 May 2023

By Alice Chambers |

Portland Port in Dorset, UK, has begun a £26 million (almost $30 million) project to develop a new cruise berth.

The port will replace its existing deepwater berth with a new and extended berth, which will be 250 metres long and able to handle cruise ships up to 350 metres long. It will also extend the solid quay face of the current primary cruise berth, known as the outer coaling pier, by 74 metres.

Once the facility is complete, the port will have 16,000 metres-squared of additional quayside space and be capable of handling two 350-metre-long cruise ships.

“This is a key investment for the port and demonstrates our commitment to the continued development of our infrastructure,” said Alex Hayes, landside general manager at Portland Port. “The project has taken a lot of time and planning to take it from its initial conception through to implementation. There is still a lot of work to be done before the project is complete, however the outcome will be a milestone for the port and its future.”

The project will be carried out by managing contractor Knights Brown and Ramboll, which will design the quay walls to minimise the amount of steel required and make use of locally sourced rocks.

Red 7 Marine will support Knights Brown with the piling works, along with local contractors Barrett Electrical, D&M Groundworks, ESG Trading, Pipefix and Quest Marine.

The preparatory work is already underway and with the piling work beginning in October, the new berth will be fully operational by 1 May 2023. The final surfacing work will take place between October 2023 and February 2024.

“This development will provide a major and significant enhancement to the port’s capabilities,” said Ian McQuade, commercial general manager at Portland Port. “The new facilities will enable Portland Port to keep pace with the increasing demands from our existing cruise and cargo customers whilst offering the opportunity for future growth. The size of vessels calling at Portland over the last number of years has continued to grow and this investment will enable our business to keep ahead of this trend.

“This is the largest investment Portland Port has ever undertaken and it is a resounding vote of confidence in the business by the company’s owners. The future looks very exciting for the port.” 

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