1 9 2 FEATURE Welcome back! Ports and destinations have suffered a brutal two years. The cost of lost calls and shore spending has hit businesses and communities hard, yet they have worked tirelessly to prepare for the return of cruising. Alice Chambers asks ports and destinations worldwide to share updates about the return of cruise ships and why they are looking forward to brighter days ahead Portland Port, UK Portland Port was fortunate to be involved in the restart of cruise operations from the beginning, welcoming calls from MSC Cruises and Viking at the end of May 2021. The port had welcomed over 60 calls by the close of the 2021 season and the restart gave a boost to the local area. The return of operational cruise calls was an early sign that things were improving after the Covid-related lockdowns. The focus has now moved onto the 2022 season and there is much excitement for a return of normal operations and services, including the welcome team and tourist information being available on the quayside, as well as music and entertainment on departure. Portsmouth International Port, UK Portsmouth International Port is embarking on a major transformation this year, building an extension to its terminal to accommodate the predicted future increase in cruise passengers. The terminal, which is expected to be completed by spring 2023, will feature green facilities and veranda space with views across the port. Portsmouth is expected to welcome a record number of cruise vessels in 2022, with maiden visits from a wide range of cruise lines and the arrival of Salamanca, the first Brittany Ferries ship powered by LNG.