Port bosses celebrated a record-breaking double-call of cruise ships on one day - and revealed more liners from around the world will be sailing in throughout next year.

It comes as residents continue to raise concerns about the traffic problems associated with the shuttle buses which bring the cruise passengers into Weymouth town centre.

Portland Port said the docking at the same time of the 330m Regal Princess and 326m Norwegian Getaway last Saturday was the largest by vessel size that the port has accommodated in its 27-year history.

More than 7,250 passengers were on the liners, with many disembarking on day tours to tourism attractions in the region as well as journeying into Weymouth.

Dorset Echo: Portland Port- The docking at the same time of the 330m Regal Princess and 326m Norwegian GetawayThe docking at the same time of the 330m Regal Princess and 326m Norwegian Getaway was the largest by vessels size that the port has accommodated in its 27-year history

The ships were moored alongside the newly redeveloped £26 million deep-water berth and extended outer coaling pier.

Another cruise ship is due on Tuesday, October 10.

Ian McQuade, Portland Port’s commercial general manager and chair of Cruise Britain, said: “Various records have been set this year with the cruise calls at Portland, including the annual number of passengers at 130,000.

“Saturday’s double calls also saw a record number of guests using the port’s complimentary shuttle bus to Portland Castle and on into Weymouth. Over 4,000 passengers took advantage of the service, no doubt delivering a welcome financial boost at the end of the summer season.”

For the first time at the port, cruise calls are scheduled for 10 out of 12 calendar months next year. Only January and March are currently free of cruise calls in 2024.

Meanwhile, residents have been critical of the cruise ship shuttle bus service which has seen masses of tourists lining Spring Road and Newton Road in Weymouth, and a steady stream of buses navigating the residential streets.

Speaking on Saturday, one resident said: “This is the worst it has been.

“It is crazy. There is space for one coach but there are four parked up. To get out of here now is a nightmare. You can’t have so many at once.”

Another resident believes the problem is only going to get worse, saying: “It is terrible. You have coaches parked on double yellow lines, there is no consideration for the local people at all. It is a totally ill-conceived place to drop hordes of people in a residential area. This has never been a bus station and the number of coaches we get is not manageable.”

Resident Jamie Brind believes another location should be used for the buses. He said: “It made sense when the Brewers Quay and car park were open but not anymore. It would be better to use the Swannery Car Park.”

Similar issues were observed last Thursday when the MSC Virtuosa docked. Following the disruption, Portland Port said that traffic management plans would be in place, including bus marshals and Portland Police representatives. Weymouth town councillor Luke Wakeling went to see the coach drop-off in person on Saturday and said: “The mitigations that were put in place in mid-May have generally worked okay with the smaller ships.

“With the larger passenger numbers this week, the drop-off hasn’t been a great experience for residents nor the visiting passengers. I have raised points with Dorset Council.”

In a previous statement, Portland Port said there are no current plans to change drop-off points, saying that the calls help to extend the tourist season. They added that there is a likelihood that calls will visit all year round, benefitting local businesses.