21 May 2021
The countdown is underway for the first cruise ship with passengers to arrive at Portland Port in over 14 months under the re-start of domestic cruise operations. The MSC Virtuosa left Southampton on Thursday 20 May and is scheduled to arrive alongside in Portland at 0800 on Saturday 22 May. The Virtuosa is a brand new vessel operating her inaugural itinerary and Portland Port will be the very first port of call, not just for this vessel but for the whole of the UK industry as cruising re-starts.
Under UK Government guidelines UK cruises for UK guests have been allowed since 17 May and the MSC Virtuosa is the first vessel to take advantage of the new guidance. The call on Saturday will be the Virtuosa’s first of nearly 20 scheduled throughout the summer season. Ian McQuade, General Manager Commercial, commented that “the port has been working closely with MSC for many weeks to plan for the re-start of commercial cruise operations and we are delighted and honoured that MSC have chosen to include Portland Port in their inaugural itineraries for this beautiful new vessel. We can’t wait to welcome her alongside tomorrow”.