Posted on March 15, 2023
Some of the world’s largest cruise ships could soon come to Portland Port after the site received a £26 million investment to upgrade the commercial port. Portland Port in Dorset, is rebuilding one of its six deep-water berths and will increase its capacity to accommodate 350m ocean liners.
The works also include a 74-metre extension to the solid quay face of Portland Port’s current primary cruise berth, the Outer Coaling Pier. The preparatory works are already underway and, once complete, the development will have used 380,000 tonnes of locally sourced infill material and 4,800 tonnes of steel.
The piling works started in October last year with both Outer Coaling Pier and deep-water berth being fully operational by May 1. Supported by HSBC, the addition of this berth will “future-proof against demands from global cruise operators and an ever-growing bulk cargo business.”
Figures at Portland Port say this large investment into the site will “provide a major and significant enhancement to the port’s capabilities” and “enable Portland Port to keep pace with the increasing demands from our existing cruise and cargo customers whilst offering the opportunity for future growth. ” Bill Reeves, chief executive officer at Portland Port, commented: “Establishing this new deep-water berth is essential to the port’s continued growth.
“This funded expansion will provide significantly increased capacity at the port and allow us to welcome some of the world’s largest cruise liners. It will also enable us to support the continued expansion of the port’s bulk cargo trades. We’re excited to welcome partners new and old following the launch of the new facility.”
Gareth Evans, area director for Hampshire & Dorset Corporate Banking at HSBC UK, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the expansion of Portland Port. The organisation is set for an exciting period of growth and we look forward to seeing its continued development, as well as the wider economic benefits this will bring to the region.”
The initial surface finish of the quayside will be temporary but heavy-duty, to allow for settling, with final surfacing works due to take place between October 2023 and February 2024. Acquired from the Royal Navy in 1996, Portland Port has since developed into a commercial port that handles cruise ships, as well as dry and liquid bulk cargo, and maintains a strong relationship with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The cruising season has already begun this year at Portland Port, with the AIDA Cruise’s AIDAbella arriving on Tuesday morning (March 7). Dozens of cruise ships visiting from America, Norway Germany, and other European countries are set to moor at Portland Port between March and November this year.
This includes impressive ships of Disney Magic, Norwegian Dawn and Regal Princess. MSC Virtuosa, which has a capacity of 4,842, will be the largest ship to visit Portland Port this year on April 28.