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MIAMI MISSION SET TO BRING CRUISE BUSINESS BOOM12 Mar 2013

After a record breaking cruise season in 2012 the Port of Tyne is expecting another busy year in 2013 with 32 cruise calls, 11 of which are transit and 21 are turnaround cruises.


Three new cruise lines will be making transit calls - visiting the Port for one stop - including Crystal Cruises, Hurtigruten and Costa Cruises. And a number of first time calls will be made by existing customers including the inaugural visit of Fred Olsen's Black Watch and MSC Magnifica.

And this week the Port of Tyne and Newcastle Gateshead Initiative are joining forces at Cruise Shipping Miami, in America, for the annual gathering of the world's cruise line managers and cruise itinerary planners, where the team hopes to win more cruise business for the North East.


UK ports are set for one million cruise passenger embarkations this year after a record 2012. The number of people leaving UK ports on a cruise last year rose to a 10% high and now one in eight holidays is a cruise.


Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Tyne, said: "We are delighted to have welcomed more cruise ships than ever before at the Port of Tyne and we are actively marketing the International Passenger Terminal services and the world-class attractions of the North East with our partners NGI and Cruise Britain.


"Ten years ago there were no cruise ships at all arriving at the Port of Tyne so to see a record number and almost double our success of 2011 last year is a great achievement and one of real significance to the economy of the North East, which benefits from visitors spending their money at attractions, shops, restaurants, hotels, and bars in the area.


"With cruises becoming ever more popular the aim is to further increase our market share by taking what we have to offer direct to the cruise planners in America at their main business conference. Back here at the ranch we are preparing for another busy season welcoming several new cruise lines to the Port of Tyne for the first time."


Last year almost 600,000 passengers embarked on cruise and ferry holidays from the Port, with more destinations on offer than ever before including cruises to the Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia and the Baltics.


In total 723,000 holidaymakers on cruises visited UK ports in 2012, double the 2007 figure, and over 62,000 either called into North East England or sailed away on a cruise directly from the Port of Tyne's International Passenger Terminal.


With superb facilities, vessels of up to 300m in length and up to 10m in draft can be accommodated at Northumbrian Quay, the Port's purpose-built cruise berth which is capable of accommodating 95% of the global fleet of cruise ships and ideally placed to handle turnaround and transit calls.


Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative, the destination marketing agency for the City said: "The Port of Tyne is a fantastic gateway for North East England and it plays a significant role in attracting visitors to experience

NewcastleGateshead's vibrancy, culture and shopping, as well as world-class attractions like Alnwick Castle, The Alnwick Garden and Durham Cathedral. 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."


Named the UK's Best Port of Call by CruiseCritic the Port of Tyne offers easy access to world heritage sites, miles of stunning coastline, dramatic castles and cathedrals, sumptuous stately homes and gardens, plus one of Europe's most culturally exciting cities.


In light of the boom in UK cruise departures the Port of Tyne has stepped up its marketing efforts and has created a new tailor-made brochure aimed at promoting some of region's iconic attractions and marketing the Port as a principal gateway to Europe and beyond. It can be downloaded at www.portoftyne.co.uk.


A recent study found that cruise and ferry operations at the Port of Tyne contributes around £50 million gross value added to the economy of North East England and indirectly supports in excess of 1,700 tourism related jobs. In total 600,000 passengers used the International Passenger Terminal last year, where DFDS operates a daily Amsterdam route. Half of these passengers are inbound visitors travelling to enjoy - and spend - in North East England.

 

For further information please contact:

Lisa Donohoe, Public Relations Manager

Tel: 0191 455 2671 Mobile: 07912 390777 Email: lisa.donohoe@portoftyne.co.uk

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