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Cruising to success18 Jul 2008

The Port of Tyne extended a warm welcome to Eurodam Holland America's newest cruise ship, when she sailed into port on 11th July 2008 during her maiden voyage. The Port of Tyne decided to mark the visit of the Eurodam with a special North East welcome that included a flavour of our region, with the opportunity to sample traditional food and drink as the unique sound of the Northumbrian Pipes, played by the Duke of Northumberland's piper greeted passengers on Northumbrian Quay.

There was certainly reason to celebrate as Eurodam is the second longest vessel ever to turn in the river and on gross tonnage the largest trading vessel to ever move on the Tyne without tugs and more than twice as massive as the next nearest.

Eurodam also carried the most passengers to the Tyne ever on a single ship, 20% more than the QE2, and in addition to Eurodam the Thomson Celebration and King of Scandinavia were also in port, making it the busiest day ever for passengers in that approximately 8,000 people crossed the quays including Thomson's 1 millionth passenger, which the Port of Tyne marked in a separate celebration.

But what makes Eurodam so special is the fact that not only is she a new super cruise liner built to order by Holland America, one of the world's premier cruise lines, but this is also the third time this year that Holland America have chosen to visit the region. The Eurodam is the 80th ship to enter Holland America's service, and at 285m, 86,700 tons and carrying 2,104 passengers, she is the largest Holland America ship to date.

The Port of Tyne is only one of five UK ports capable of accommodating vessels the size of the Eurodam at its purpose built cruise facility in North Shields. A total investment of in excess of £7 million has been made to passenger facilities enabling the Port of Tyne to attract major cruise lines to the region and literally cruise to success. With 29 cruise calls in 2008 and 22 already booked for 2009, the Port of Tyne's cruise business has enjoyed a 40% per annum growth making it the fastest growing cruise port in Europe if not the world.

Fergus Poole - Cruise and International Passenger Terminal Manager at the Port of Tyne said: "The Eurodam is a fantastic ship and goes to show the calibre of vessel we are able to attract to the port, we genuinely believe that the North East as a destination has much to offer cruise lines and we are actively involved in promoting the region as a must visit destination".

Eurodam boosts a dramatic show lounge, spanning four decks in the forward section of the ship. Dutch artefacts and museum pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries are featured throughout but the ship has a modern vibrant feel to appeal to a younger market.

86% of the cabins are on the outside, and 67% have balconies, other facilities include pools, a winding shopping street with several boutique stores, world class demonstration kitchen to enjoy hands on culinary classes from world renowned chiefs, a luxury spa, an art gallery, extensive casino and impressive library.

After its maiden voyage Eurodam will set sail on its first transatlantic cruise followed by seasons of cruise in Canada/New England and the Caribbean.

Operational Note to Editors

The Port of Tyne is an important Northern Gateway and key player in the Tyne & Wear region; a dynamic trading hub with five business areas: conventional and bulk cargoes; logistics; car terminals; cruise and ferries; and estates.

For further information contact

Lisa Donohoe, Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671
Mob: 07912 390 777

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