15 February 2019
Portland Port has been receiving cruise ships for more than 20 years; using a combination of the experience gained and increasing ship numbers, the services and facilities that the port provides to the visiting cruise ships has improved significantly.
The port’s cruise business has shown a rapid growth since Ian McQuade joined the company in 2008 and took a new approach to attracting the cruise lines. The success can also be attributed to the contribution of a much wider group of people, including port staff from all departments and levels, stevedores, musicians and entertainers, bus companies and the Welcome Team who help passengers on the quayside.
The port has won awards for its cruise efforts in the past with the cruise industry leading publication, Cruise Insight Magazine, awarding the port ‘Most Improved Destination’ in 2012 and ‘Most Responsive Port’ in 2014. These awards marked significant milestones in the development of the port’s cruise business.
2018 witnessed a new milestone for the port, that of more local recognition. In June 2018, Portland Port won the award at the Dorset Echo Industry Awards for ‘Best Contribution to Local Tourism’. This was then followed in November, by winning Gold at the Dorset Tourism Awards in the International Visitor Experience of the Year category. To top off this amazing award success, on 7th February, a group from the port, which included guests from Disney Cruise Line, Saga Cruises, European Cruise Services, Intecruises and Kuoni, attended the South West Tourism Awards at Aerospace Bristol, where the port won Bronze in the International Visitor Experience of the Year category.
To be recognised at these different regional levels is extremely rewarding for the port and highlights the importance of supporting local businesses, new and old, and working together to show off our beautiful county to the increasing number of cruise passengers that are coming in to Portland.
Ian McQuade, General Manager – Commercial commented ‘We are lucky to live in such a beautiful place and have the chance to show off the wide variety of skills, talents, sights and produce from the local area and people. These awards show how successful it can be when people work together. Every year we are approached by more local entrepreneurs bringing new ideas to us for cruise passengers which is fantastic, and we look forward to seeing what the future brings.’