In June, Portland Port opened a new deep-water berth which can accommodate two 350-metre-long cruise ships at the same time
Portland Port in Dorset, UK, is expecting the record arrival of 18 cruise ships from the end of August to the end of September 2023, generating more than £3.6 million ($4.5 million) for the local economy.
According to figures from Cruise Lines International Association for spend per head of passenger, the UK port brings around £10 million ($12.7 million) to Portland and Weymouth annually, from combined spending by day excursion visitors to shops, bars, cafes and takeaways, along with expenditure on tourism attractions, taxis, coaches, shuttle buses and tours. According to the port, the local economy benefits from around £175,500 ($223,183) to up to £400,000 ($508,680) for each cruise line call, depending on the size of the ships and number of passengers booked in for landside activities.
A second port record is also set to be made in September, when Norwegian Cruise Line’s 326m-long Norwegian Getaway and Princess Cruises’ 330-metre Regal Princess are expected to berth together at the new £26 million ($33 million) deep-water berth on 30 September, with upwards of 8,000 passengers. Local businesses are also anticipated to benefit in October, as the port has three scheduled visits from ships with passenger capacity each of 2,000-plus.
“There is also a call in November, showing that the ‘shoulder season’ is being squeezed thanks to hard work by the port globally in attracting cruise lines to the Jurassic Coast throughout the calendar year,” a port spokesperson said. “In a third record for the port, passenger vessels have booked in to call at the port for 10 months out of 12 next year, with the first call as early as February; as things stand, January and March are the only months without cruise calls.
“In the last eight years the port has invested more than £40 million ($50.9 million) in developing infrastructure and more than £3 million ($3.8 million) 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.”