It has been three months since the green light was given for domestic cruises to resume following adherence to Government guidelines. In that time Portland Port has welcomed 43 vessels and anticipates in excess of 20 further calls before the season ends making a record number of calls for the port.
Domestic cruising restarted on May 20th with the MSC Virtuosa being the first to lead the way with the new cruise format whilst restrictions were in place. Portland Port first welcomed the MSC Virtuosa on May 22nd as part of her inaugural itinerary and on Sunday 22 August was delighted to welcome her back for her 15th call this summer. During the same period Portland Port has also been delighted to welcome many other vessels as the restart of domestic cruise operations has grown and expanded. The port has hosted turnaround calls for the brand-new sailing cruise vessel Golden Horizon as well as seeing the welcome return of an old friend, Hebridean Princess. The busy re-start has also seen a number of inaugural visits into the area including the Celebrity Silhouette, Viking Venus, Viking Star, Marella Explorer, Marella Explorer 2, Saga’s Spirit of Adventure and Fred. Olsen’s new ship Borealis.
Ian McQuade, General Manager Commercial at Portland Port said “We have been delighted to have been included in so many re-start itineraries and really appreciate the vote of confidence the cruise industry has given Portland Port. And the season is not yet done! We still have over 20 further calls to come, including our first international calls of the year. Whilst this cruise season bears little resemblance to the programme that was originally planned it will nonetheless be a record breaking one for the port”.
The cruise lines have gone above and beyond in their effort to provide the safest possible environment, using the latest technology, the most up to date testing and a whole host of new safety policy and procedures. At the same time Portland Port has worked closely with the local port health authorities to ensure that its own protocols have been up to standard. Ian McQuade commented “The success of the season to date is testament to the hard work put in by all, both at Portland Port and throughout the industry, to get things up and running again so smoothly”.
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