14 January 2020
Portland Port’s 2020 cruise season is going to be another record breaker with the greatest number of cruise calls and passengers to date. This has been the general pattern for more than ten years, with numbers increasing from just 3 ships in 2000 to the 46 that are expected this year. The 45 ships will be bringing more than 80,000 passengers and crew into Dorset and the surrounding area.
The port’s cruise season is much longer this year, with the first ship arriving on the 9th March and the last on the 25th November. Of the 46 ships expected, 10 are inaugural calls, each of which will receive a hand-carved Portland stone plaque to commemorate their first visit to Portland Port.
The first ship to arrive on the 9th March is a new ship and cruise line for Portland: Hurtigruten’s vessel, MS Fridtjof Nansen. Hurtigruten offer expedition cruises where passengers can experience unique nature-based tours in remote areas of the world. The MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to their fleet and has a variety of custom-built expedition equipment on board such as kayaks and underwater drones. She has a relatively small passenger capacity of 530 which is on a more intimate scale compared to the Norwegian Escape who will visit the port for the first time shortly after.
The Norwegian Escape will become the heaviest vessel and have the most passengers on board, of any vessel, to ever visit Portland Port. She has a staggering passenger capacity of 4,266 and a gross tonnage of 165,157. This vessel also boasts an amazing hull design with a huge sailfish as the figurehead art, with lots of other fish species and sea creatures as well.
Silversea Cruises are sending one of their vessels to Portland Port for the first time this year with the Silver Whisper due to visit on the 16th July. Silversea is a luxury cruise line that was created to offer more space for fewer guests, with the highest level of personalised service.
Celebrity Cruises are also visiting Portland for the first time, with the luxurious Celebrity Reflection visiting on the 14th May.
Other first-time vessels for the year include the Regal Princess, Pullmantur’s Monarch, Phoenix Reisen’s Amera, the Seven Seas Splendor, the Island Princess and CMV’s Columbus.
It is always exciting to see cruise ships in the port, regardless of their size and this year there is certainly a huge variation.
Ian McQuade, General Manager – Commercial commented “2020 is going to be a fantastic year for cruise ships at Portland Port and we look forward to giving every ship a warm welcome to Dorset, as well as a departure to remember with the help of local entertainment groups”.
As well as the first-time ships, the port is pleased to be welcoming back ships from Phoenix Reisen, AIDA, Regent Seven Seas, Saga, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Seabourn and the family favourite, Disney Magic.
The full 2020 schedule can be viewed on the Portland Port website; http://www.portland-port.co.uk/cruise+calendar