PASSENGERS stopped off in Dorset when a giant German cruise ship docked at Portland Port.

The Aida Stella – carrying 2,200 passengers – moored at the port on the first of its four visits scheduled for this summer season.

Ted Toop, who skippers the Portland Port tug Maiden Castle on a part-time basis, and Paul Dalloway both captured some pictures of the liner alongside at Portland and as she departed.

The ship was in for 12 hours after arriving at 6am. Excursions for the passengers included trips to Salisbury, Stonehenge and Corfe Castle but the holidaymakers could also stay local.

A re-enactment company from the Nothe Fort fired a salute as the liner left to mark its departure.

The Aida Stella 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 about 30,000 cruise ship passengers will be docking at the port this season.

Passengers will be taken by shuttle bus and dropped off at Brewers Quay to look around Weymouth or go on excursions to such places as Stonehenge or local landmarks.