Weymouth Bay has always offered a safe anchorage to vessels of all sizes due to being sheltered from westerly storms by Portland and the Chesil Beach. Not though since the days when the Royal Navy was based in Portland have so many huge ships been seen at anchor relatively close to the shore.
Covid-19 has caused this, with cruise ships not being able to operate and port fees being a huge expense anywhere between 5 and 10 beautiful cruise liners have been seen at anchor in Weymouth Bay on a daily basis. Liners from P and O, Carnival and other operators have been here but without a doubt, the stars of the show have been the magnificent ocean liners of the Cunard fleet, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth that have visited regularly
The ships can be viewed from just about any part of the beach in Weymouth but for the best views and photo opportunities here are some of our favourite places to view them from. Better still why not get out on the water with one of these boat operators that offer trips out to see the ships up close and personal.
How To View The Cruise Ships From The Sea
Snapper Fishing and Sightseeing Tours are running bookable evening cruises around the ships in the bay.
Costs for this one and a half hour evening trip are £20 a head with a minimum of 4 passengers and a maximum of 5 unless from the same household. If interested please text us on 07833492948 we are at sea during the day. 🐬🛳🚢
For more information click here …
Weymouth Sea Cruise boats operate from the ferry steps next to Weymouth Pavilion. During the day they run regular trips into the Bay and Portland Harbour but in the evening they run trips out into Weymouth Bay to view the cruise ships up close. Keep your eyes peeled there always the chance you’ll get to see some of Weymouth’s friendly dolphins as well. More details here …
Moonfleet is a classic gaff rigged sailing vessel, built in the 1930’s in Holland, today she is used as a training vessel based in Portland in Dorset.
A variety of affordable day and shorter trips for all the family to enjoy in both Weymouth Bay & Portland Harbour as well as along the Jurassic Coast are available with many offering the perfect opportunity to view the cruise ships in the bay. Click here for more information …
Where To View The Cruise Ships From The Shore
Looking out across Weymouth Harbour across Weymouth Bay towards Bowleaze Cove, Osmington and the white cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, Weymouth’s Nothe Fort offers one of the most spectacular views of the Weymouth Bay cruise ship fleet.
Looking down from the ramparts of the fort gives a totally different perspective of the beautiful ships than can be had from sea level and dependant on the tides and anchor points you’ll be treated either to beautiful panoramic view when the ships are at anchor off Bowleaze or Osmington or a spectacularly close view of these hotels of the sea when at anchor on the Portland Harbour side of the bay.
The Nothe Fort now has a lovely calm and peaceful viewing terrace beneath the ramparts where although the viewpoint is a little lower it still looks out over the bay and is accessible from the Fort Cafe so you can sit back with a drink or snack and enjoy the scene.
Cafe Oasis at the far end of the Preston Beach wall is situated right on Overcombe Beach. During the current period of Covid-19 lockdown all of their tables are actually on the beach when makes for an amazing experience viewing the cruise ships in the bay as it’s normally the side of the bay they anchor at.
Overcombe Beach some good photo opportunities with the added bonus of windsurfers and kite surfers on windy days and occasionally the surprising sight of a parasail flying overhead after taking off from the hill above Bowleaze Cove.
It’s a pleasant walk of around 20 to 30 minutes from central Weymouth along the sea wall to Cafe Oasis but for those who prefer to drive the cafe has it’s own pay and display car park.
The Nothe Gardens and Newtons Cove
Situated on the south side of Weymouth Harbour the Nothe Gardens and Newtons Cove is a great place for a picnic and has some great views across the bay towards the Jurassic Coast and Cruise Ship fleet. There have even been reports of some of our friendly local dolphins being seen from the shore when playing in the cove.
The Coast Path Between Bowleaze Cove and Osmington
Most days the closest you’ll get to the ships will be from the coast path that runs from Bowleaze Cove to Osmington Mills. Take care the cliffs are prone to landslip so please observe precautionary signs and don’t venture too close to the cliff ledge.
The path can be picked up at Bowleaze at the end of Bowleaze Coveway behind Fantasy Island Fun Park
Bowleaze Cove is probably the best beach to see the cruise ships from if you want all the fun of a day on the beach coupled with great views of the vessels at anchor.
There’s a car park here plus free on road parking, but you’ll need to get there early to nab a space and plenty of fun for all the family at Fantasy Island Fun Park situated immediately behind the beach. There’s also a superb restaurant where you can dine and view a great vista at any time of the day but particularly awesome in the evening.
Images: ¢ Alan Casling