CRUISING TO A RECORD 10 Oct 2012
A record 36 cruise calls have visited the Port of Tyne since April and around 80,000 cruise passengers have passed through the Port's International Passenger Terminal in North Shields.
This represents an increase of 80% on the previous year and already 34 cruise visits are provisionally booked for next year.
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive of Port of Tyne, said: "Success in the cruise and ferry business is especially significant in terms of the positive economic impact on the local area, supporting tourism-related businesses and sustaining in excess of 1,800 jobs in the tourism sector.
"Last year the Port was recognised by travel website CruiseCritic.com as the UK's Best Port of Call, so it's great to be able to celebrate that during our best cruise season on record."
Almost half of the cruise ship's calling at the Port were ‘turnaround' cruises, meaning more passengers than ever were able to start their holiday from the Port of Tyne - and for the first time to Mediterranean destinations. While the other half were transit cruises, welcoming visitors from all over the world to North East England to explore the sites and find out what the region has to offer.
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: "The Port of Tyne's International Passenger Terminal is an important gateway for North East England, and it's great that cruise lines are offering more destinations to and from the Port than ever before. It plays an important role in attracting visitors to experience NewcastleGateshead's vibrancy, culture & shopping, the North East's World Heritage Sites at Hadrian's Wall and Durham Castle & Cathedral, and world-class attractions like Alnwick Castle & The Alnwick Garden. We work hard to ensure that information about the destination is on hand for these international visitors on arrival so they have the very best experience possible."
In 2011 an independent economic assessment calculated that the combined impact of the cruise and ferry business for the regional economy was in excess of £45 million.
Over the past seven months the Port has also welcomed new customers including MSC, Seabourn, Swan Hellenic, Peter Deilmann and the return of Thomson. And next year it's set to welcome more new customers in Hurtigruten, Crystal Cruises and the return of Hapag-Lloyd.
Bill Gibbons, Director of the Passenger Shipping Association, said: "In less than ten years the Port has transformed its business from no cruise ships to a record number of calls and is fast becoming one of the UK's busiest regional ports for cruise passengers."
Over 3,000 passengers will cross the quays at the Passenger Terminal on Thursday - including holiday makers returning on Fred Olsen's Boudicca and disembarking from MSC Lirica to explore Durham, Alnwick Castle, the North Pennines and Hadrian's Wall.
For further information please contact:
Lisa Donohoe Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org