CRUISING season has begun at Portland in Victoria with the arrival of the MS Regatta.

This is set to precede the arrival of Sea Seas Marine on Tuesday of next week.

With a population of about 10,000, located at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, the city is situated on the picturesque and sheltered Portland Bay.

According to Glenelg Shire Council, American tourists will be welcomed into Portland with community markets, live music, cultural performances, shuttle buses around town and a range of on-shore tours.

While Portland is a somewhat isolated port, it is seen as an access point to the southern Grampians.

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The third cruise ship for 2019 is not until December next year – that will be Vasco Da Gama, which will be familiar to locals as it was once known as the Pacific Eden and visited Portland five years ago.

The Vasco Da Gama stopover is expected to include 1200 guests and 500 crew.

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