THE success of Portland Port's cruise ship boom was showcased at an international conference.

It comes after representatives from Portland Port attended the Cruise Europe Annual General Meeting and Conference in Belgium.

Split between Zeebrugge Port and Bruges, the event is described as one of the most important annual meetings of the Northern European cruise industry attended by top executives of leading cruise companies as well as port representatives.

Port of Zeebrugge Vice President Rik Goetinck was on hand to greet the 180 attendees who were all there to consolidate and increase the cruise business.

The event started at The Grand Hotel Casselbergh in Bruge after which guests were then welcomed with a reception at the Gothic Hal.

The following day's programme included regional meetings, short excursions and the AGM. Then it was off to Zeebrugge for the cruise conference where attendees heard from industry leaders on developments within the cruise business, with a focus on environment and sustainability.

Ian McQuade General Manager - Commercial for Portland Port who attended said: "The annual Cruise Europe conference has become a key date in the diary for industry professionals in northern Europe.

"This year’s event was another thought provoking and interesting session."

Guest speakers included representatives from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, Carnival UK, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and others covering a broad section of the industry. In addition to the formal sessions there was plenty of opportunity for networking between port and cruise line executives both during the day and at the evening’s social events.

Mr McQuade said: “The Cruise Europe conference is always a great way to catch up with the cruise lines in a relaxed environment. It is also a great opportunity for Portland Port to showcase itself in a broader industry context. Events such as this are vital if we are to continue to grow and expand our presence in the cruise market.

"This year will be another record one for Portland Port with over 62,000 passengers expected and I am keen to build on this for 2020 and beyond."