An elegant cruise ship, the Pacific Princess, has sailed into Portland Harbour today.

She is on a two week round trip of the UK, taking in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, and Wales.

The 30,277 tonne, 686 passenger Princess is said to combine the facilities of a large cruise liner with the romance of a smaller vessel, enabling passengers to get to know one another whilst gaining access to ports that are only open to smaller ships.

On board, passengers can dine at an Italian restaurant, enjoy a BBQ around the swimming pool or plunge into a salt water tub. They can practise their golf skills as well as indulge in retail therapy or a night in the casino.

There is a cabaret lounge and the ship even holds festivals onboard, when globe trotters can party at themed events - such as Oktoberfest or Rio carnival.

After leaving Portland tomorrow the Pacific Princess will head off to Falmouth, and will then make a course for the port of Waterford in Ireland. It is the third ship from Princess Cruises to make its inaugural call to the port in 2019.

The Crown Princess made her inaugural visit on 30th April, The Sea Princess made her inaugural call on 10th July .

Ian McQuade, general manager – commercial, said: "It has been an amazing cruise season so far and to be seeing so many ships on their inaugural visits is a testament to the hard work that everyone has put in to making Portland Port a perfect location for travellers.

"We have spent a lot of time building up a strong relationship with Princess Cruises, so it is particularly rewarding to now start to see the benefits of this work; and this is just the beginning as we look forward to welcoming them back again next year too."

Portland Port has been receiving cruise ships for more than 20 years but has been growing this side of the business in recent years.

In June 2018, the port won the Dorset Echo Industry Award for ‘Best Contribution to Local Tourism’, and 2019 is a record-breaker for the facility: by the time the cruise season draws to a close, the port will have welcomed more cruise ships to the area than in any other year in its history to date.

According to figures released by Portland Port, 80 per cent of all passengers remain in Dorset during their visit, spending an average of €80 per person, while crew members spend an average of €35 each.

Around 40 per cent of passengers go on official excursions that are arranged by the ship, leaving 60 per cent to take advantage of the free shuttle service provided by the port, remain onboard, or make their own arrangements.

One of the port's most frequently visiting cruise lines, Phoenix Reisen, has an appearance scheduled today, with the return of the Amadea, as it nears the end of its current 24 day cruise.