Dorset has received a major boost in its economy thanks to the number of cruise ships visiting Portland Port.

Labelled as Super September, the local economy has seen a £3.6m boost as the port breaks a series of cruise call records. 

Eighteen cruise ships have called into port between the end of August and September, bringing in between £175k to £400k per ship for the economy.

The Cruise Lines International Association Trade Body worked out the combined spending by day excursions from visitors to shops, bars, cafes and takeaways. Tourist attractions, taxis, coaches and shuttle buses are also included.

Dorset Echo:

A spokesperson from the port said: “It’s been a Super September for many businesses.

“The amount of revenue these calls bring to the area’s businesses is considerable, at an estimated £3.6m generated alone by the 18 calls, and we thank them for their supportive role in providing a warm Dorset welcome to cruise passengers.”

The reason for this uptake in calls has been the port's £26m investment in a deep-water berth, allowing visits from larger vessels, with the spokesperson saying: “The investment in our newly redeveloped deep-water berth, officially launched in June, means cruise ships of up to 350m in length can now be accepted rather than taking their business elsewhere, and that’s why we are seeing more calls."

The spokesperson said that another record will be broken on September 30, with the two largest cruise ships set to dock at the port, bringing in an estimated 8,000 passengers between them.

Craig Johnson from the Marlboro fish and ship shop and restaurant on St Thomas Street has also noted a rise in tourists: “It has been an excellent year for the town as we have welcomed lots of tourists in from USA and Asia. The last two or three years have been very good.”

Tourist footfall has increased following the cruises docking and Dennis Spurr, manager of the Fantastic Sausage Factory in St Mary Street said: “The cruise ships are great for business. My shop is so colourful and noisy that we often welcome Americans in and have a good laugh. ”

"The cruise ships are nothing but positive, extending the summer season and bringing a vibe to the town," he added.