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Portland Port gets visit from Royal Carribean's Brilliance of the Seas
HUNDREDS of passengers headed into Dorset when a giant cruise ship docked at Portland Port.
Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas moored at the port yesterday morning.
It is the latest cruise ship to visit in a record-breaking season.
Ted Toop, who skippers the Portland Port tug Maiden Castle on a part-time basis, captured some pictures of the liner alongside at Portland.
Mr Toop said the 294-metre cruise ship is believed to be the biggest vessel ever to enter the inner harbour and berth at Portland’s outer coaling pier.
Excursions for the passengers included trips to Salisbury, Stonehenge and Corfe Castle but the holidaymakers could also stay local.
The Brilliance of the Seas is among 18 ships booked in to call into Portland Port over the summer – with some visiting several times – making a total of 30 visits.
Ian McQuade, commercial general manager at Portland Port, told members of the Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce earlier in the spring that 30,000 cruise ship passengers will be docking at the port this season.
Last month the Aida Stella docked at Portland Port with 2,567 passengers on board – setting a new record for the most to arrive in one visit.
She stopped off at the island for the final time this year as the port continues to develop its cruise ship business with nearly 20,000 passengers so far this year.
Ian McQuade, general manager of business development at Portland Port, said: “We have been delighted with the way the 2013 cruise season is panning out.
“The feedback from both cruise lines and their guests has been very positive and gives us great encouragement for the future.”
The port says that Weymouth and Portland continues to be a popular resort amongst cruise passengers.
Staff have provided entertainment to wave off the ships off to add to the cruise experience for passengers and ensure Portland makes a lasting impression.
So far this season passengers have seen the Nothe Artillery Volunteers, a ukulele duo and a variety of choirs and concert bands including Wyke Regis junior’s choir.
Helen Rewse, leader of the Wyke Regis junior’s choir, said: “We all thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The staff at the port treated us like VIPs, the passengers seemed to love our performance and there was great excitement as the cannon was fired and the ship left the port.
The giant German liner Aida Stella was lined up for four day-long visits over the summer.
Some 18 ships are scheduled to make a total of about 30 visits over the season.
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