AN UNEXPECTED guest stopped off at Portland Port today as bad weather caused a cruise ship to make an emergency diversion.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ Marco Polo ship was returning from a 39-night Amazon, West Indies and Azores cruise and was on route for Bristol’s Avonmouth port before poor weather prompted the diversion to Portland.

According to Cruise Capital the ship was forced to dock in Portland due to “bad weather in the Atlantic and strict tidal restrictions for entering the lock in Avonmouth”.

The ship arrived in Portland at around 9am and is set to depart shortly before midnight.

Guest scheduled to board to ship for its 'Land of the Northern Lights' will be offered transportation to Portland.

While Portland Port is expected to enjoy a prosperous year, following a boom in visiting cruise ships in 2016, the first ship was not scheduled to arrive in Portland until April.