The Norwegian Gem and the Seven Seas Navigator in Portland Harbor on Saturday afternoon. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Choppy ocean waters from Hurricane Dorian have forced a handful of cruise ships to divert course to Portland.

On Saturday, the Seven Seas Navigator and the Norwegian Gem docked in Portland Harbor, disgorging swarms of passengers – they have a combined capacity of 2,700 – for rambles through the Old Port and day trips to nearby cities. They were scheduled to depart at 7 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

Visitors who were sitting in the sand 30 yards from the high tide line at Old Orchard Beach scurry away from the oncoming water of a surprise wave at high tide Saturday. A storm surge resulting from Hurricane Dorian brought rough surf to the Maine coastline. Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer

Harbor Master Kevin Battle said there would be little impact on the city, other than heavier than expected foot traffic downtown.

“It’s nothing our infrastructure can’t handle,” he said.

By late Saturday afternoon, many passengers had already boarded their ships in preparation for departure.

Art vendors set up near the docked cruise liners on Commercial Street, but despite the unexpected influx, business was slow Saturday morning, said Robin Small of Windham.

“People were out, but they didn’t stop because of how windy and cold it was,” she said.

At least two other ships were already scheduled to arrive in Portland but changed their timetables because of the storm. The Star Pride, with room for 210, is scheduled be in Portland on Tuesday.

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