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The high speed ferry Norröna is due to sail into the Tyne today (27 November) with its 800 passengers ready to shop ‘til they drop in search of Christmas presents for family and friends back home in the Faroe Islands.

It's the fourth year that ferry company Smyrill Line has organised the mini cruise, which journeys some 400 miles from beyond the Shetland Islands to Tyneside.

The passengers have their sights set on Christmas shopping in Newcastle City Centre and the MetroCentre and they are expected to bring a welcome boost for shops, bars and restaurants in the run up to Christmas. Traditionally, festive Faroese also collect their Yuletide sweet treats from local supermarkets just before they leave - to beat the prohibitive cost of well known brands of chocolate on the Islands.

Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Tyne, said: "We have welcomed a record number of cruise and ferry passengers this year, almost doubling passenger numbers and cruise calls. And the Port's passenger operations generate almost £50m each year in terms of tourist spend in the region, supporting over 1,700 jobs.

"So it's good to see the Norröna return, as the very last cruise of the year, and I hope that passengers enjoy their visit and that the shops, bars, restaurants and clubs feel the benefit of this extra business in the run up to Christmas."

To help the visitors make the most of their time in the region, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the destination marketing agency, will be providing them with information packs on arrival at the Port's International Passenger Terminal at North Shields.

Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: "The annual visit from the Faroese has become something of a Christmas tradition and we're delighted to welcome the Island's residents back for another year. Our partners, including Eldon Square and MetroCentre, go to great lengths to make sure everyone has a fantastic shopping experience.

"The NewcastleGateshead Winter Festival is now in full swing so there is a lot on offer for the visiting passengers. They'll certainly be guaranteed a warm welcome on arrival at the Port of Tyne and we'll be signposting them to all the wonderful shops and attractions in NewcastleGateshead during their stay."

The Norröna will berth at North Shields and stay overnight departing November 28.


For further information please contact:

Lisa Donohoe Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager
Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email:

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