Portland Port eyes record year and maiden calls

Norwegian Breakaway is pictured during its 2018 visit. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway will call during this year's record cruise season Norwegian Breakaway is pictured during its 2018 visit. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway will call during this year's record cruise season PHOTO: Portland Port

The UK's Portland Port expects another record-breaking cruise season this year with the greatest number of calls and passengers to date. This has been the general pattern for the last 10 years, with numbers increasing from just four calls in 2008 to the 44 that are expected this year.

Those calls are expected to bring 60,000 passengers to Dorset and the surrounding area.  

Eleven maiden calls

2019 will also see the largest number of maiden calls: 11. The first is Costa Mediterranea, which opens the season April 9. The ship returns on April 23, followed by two more first-time visitors: Pullmantur's Zenith (April 29) and Crown Princess (April 30). Zenith will be back on Sept. 12. And Crown Princess is among three Princess Cruises ships to call. The others are Sea Princess (July 10) and Pacific Princess (Sept. 11).

After welcoming Norwegian Breakaway in 2018, Portland will host another Norwegian Cruise Line Breakway-class ship, Norwegian Getaway, on May 6 and, capping the cruise season, on Oct. 25.

Spirit of Discovery's inaugural itinerary

On July 20, Saga’s new Spirit of Discovery will call, marking the first time Portland Port has been included in a cruise ship's inaugural sailing.

'2019 is going to be an exciting year all 'round for the port’s cruise business, and the visit by Spirit of Discovery on her inaugural cruise is the icing on the cake,' said Ian McQuade, general manager – commercial.

Other first visits include AIDAaura, AIDAcara, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' new expedition ship Hanseatic Nature and Norwegian Spirit.

For the traditional maiden call plaque exchange, Portland presents a hand-carved plaque of local stone made by the Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust.

Further ships will be returning from lines including Phoenix Reisen, AIDA, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn, Holland America Line and Disney Cruise Line. The full schedule is here.

Posted 11 January 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review

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