Portland England cruise port; Dorset attractions; Celebrity Reflection

Minterne House

Minterne House

Portland is a cruise port of call that has been gaining attention over the last few years. Once a Royal Navy base, there is plenty of room for large ships to maneuver and dock. It is also located in a desirable spot on the southwest coast of England in Dorset, not too far from attractions like Bath and Stonehenge. With Southampton so much in demand by ships seeking to originate and or terminate cruises, Portland is a good alternative for ships seeking to make an in-transit port call.


While the cruise lines place emphasis on the proximity of internationally famous sites such as Stonehenge, there are worthwhile things to see in Dorset itself. There is for example, the beautiful rural countryside that so inspired the novelist Thomas Hardy. The chalk cliffs of the Jurassic Coast have a natural splendor of a different sort. Then there is the mysterious carving of the giant of Cerne.


One excursion I particularly enjoyed was to Minterne House, a large Elizabethan-style manor house. The home of the Digby family, it is set on 1,300 acres of stunning parkland. The house itself is not usually open to the public but the family did open its doors for our shore excursion group. Lord Digby greeted us and told us the story of the house and his family. Then we were allowed to explore the grand rooms on the lower level of the house.


During the tour, it was mentioned that one of the creators of the popular television series Downton Abbey lives nearby and has been a guest at Minterne. Could he have been inspired by those visits. Certainly, the story of the Digbys has a dramatic appeal. Lord Digny’s sister was Pamela Hariman and she grew up at Minterne.


Accordingly, this week on Beyondships, we have a profile of the Portland cruise port http://www.beyondships3.com/portland-england-cruise-port.html ; a photo feature of some of the nearby attractions http://www.beyondships3.com/dorset-england.html and a feature on visiting Minterne complete with a slideshow http://www.beyondships3.com/minterne-house-england.html .


In addition, we have a feature showing Celebrity Reflection going to sea. It includes both still photos http://www.beyondships2.com/celebrity-reflection-photo.html and a video http://www.beyondships2.com/celebrity-reflection-video-2.html .



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