IT HAS been a record breaking summer at Portland Port with record numbers of passengers disembarking.

Thousands of passengers have disembarked cruise ships that have been docking in the port and on Wednesday, 2,681 passengers left the AIDAstella cruise liner from Germany, breaking the record numbers for passengers to arrive at the port in one day.

The passengers, who were mostly German, were greeted by Portland Town Crier Stuart Cave, a team of interpreters acting as tour guides and a fleet of shuttle buses to take them to Weymouth and Portland for free.

Ian McQuade, business development manager, said: “This is another impressive milestone for the port.

“It is incredible to see just how far the port has come over the last 5 years.”

Bettina Collins was on the quayside directing the German passengers as they arrived, and she said: “A huge number of people are so relieved to have German speakers there because especially older passengers do not speak English.

“I also think they really like Weymouth, it is just the right size for a stroll, they love the harbour area, the esplanade and the beach.”

Previously a naval dockyard, Portland Harbour is now a thriving commercial facility and extension work to the port’s berthing capabilities is set to be completed by the summer of 2016.

Wednesday’s visit was also the last visit of the AIDAstella to the port this summer. The vessel has transported more than 17,000 passengers in eight visits over two years to the port, and will be returning to Portland in 2015.