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THE Port of Tyne is making final preparations to welcome a record number of cruise calls to the region this year. The first ship the MSC Lirica is expected to berth at the UK's Best Port of Call on Thursday 12 April.


MSC Cruises is the fourth largest cruise operator in the world, carrying 1.2 million passengers every year. Over 1,700 of these passengers will arrive with the Lirica to spend the day exploring the region and attractions including Alnwick Castle, Hadrian's Wall, the Pennines, Newcastle City Centre, and Durham Cathedral.

97% of the passengers on board are from Germany. The six night cruise embarks from Hamburg on 10 April and visits Scotland, UK and the Netherlands before returning to Hamburg 15 April.

Steven Harrison, Port of Tyne Chief Operating Officer said: "We will welcome 37 cruise ships this year which is a record number for the Port of Tyne.

"The Tyne is a new destination for MSC and the Lirica, but other new cruise operators we will welcome this year include Seabourn, Discovery, Swan Hellenic and Peter Deilmann".

More cruise ships is good news for the region's economic prosperity adding £45 million to the regional economy and creating an estimated 53 jobs in the tourism industry in 2011.

Passengers occupying 780 cabins can expect a friendly, casual atmosphere on board the Lirica and a cruise ship that looks and feels like a traditional cruise liner complete with rich wood, brass and marble - with 2 main restaurants, 8 bars, a Broadway theatre, casino and of course a traditional game of shuffleboard.

More passengers than ever before are visiting the UK on cruise ships, as the number of Europeans choosing a cruise holiday continues to grow. In 2011 the number exceeded 6 million for the first time, an increase of 9% on 2010. The UK continues to lead the market with the number of British holidaymakers choosing a cruise growing by 5% to 1.7 million Brits. Germany is second place with 1.4 million and a 14% growth*.

Linda Tutiett, Chief Executive at Hadrian's Wall Heritage says "Visitors to Hadrian's Wall have definitely increased because of the influx of cruise calls to the Port of Tyne. It's a remarkable success story that shows no signs of stopping and we look forward to welcoming passengers from MSC Lirica throughout the cruise season".

The MSC Lirica is expected to arrive at Northumbrian Quay at 0730 giving her passengers time to explore the sights of North East England.


For further information contact:

Lisa Donohoe Assistant Marketing & Communications Manager

Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email:

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