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Record 56 ship visits in 2019 as Port of Tyne celebrates 20 years of cruise travel

It is 20 years ago to the day today (30 August) that Cunard’s Royal Viking Sun became the first cruise ship to sail into the Port of Tyne.

Since then almost £8m has been invested in the port’s passenger facilities, including £5m in transforming Northumbrian Quay in to a purpose built cruise berth.

Royal Viking Sun
1999 - Royal Viking Sun is the first ship to visit Port of Tyne

Smart thinking given the surge in popularity of cruise holidays which has resulted in 700,000 cruise passengers passing through the port over the past 20 years. And this year alone Port of Tyne will have welcomed a record 59 cruise calls.

The completion of works in 2007 coincided with the 40th anniversary of the QE2. And the following year £1.2m was invested in refurbishing the International Passenger Terminal, improving the passenger lounge, check-in desks and car parking facilities.

2008 also saw the QE2 make a final visit as part of the ship’s farewell tour, and the first call from Holland America Lines’ Eurodam bringing mainly American tourists to visit North East England.

QE2 Port of Tyne
The QE2 visited Port of Tyne in 2008 as part of her farewell tour while, below, in 2011 the port welcomed The World
.The World Port of ~Tune

Graeme Hardie, Head of Operations at Port of Tyne, said: “In the last 20 years the Port of Tyne has welcomed over 700,000 cruise passengers from 60 different cruise lines on 450 cruise calls.

“The combined economic contribution of the Port of Tyne cruise and ferry operations adds some £56m to the North East economy and supports thousands of jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

Disney Magic in Port of Tyne
2016 - Disney Magic makes her first visit to the Port of Tyne

Highlights during the past 20 years have included the visit from one of the most luxurious residences at sea, The World in 2011, and in 2015 the port became the homeport for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ flagship Balmoral.

In 2016, the Port of Tyne welcomed the first call from Disney Magic and handled a record five passenger ships in one day.

As cruise holidays continue to evolve - more than 2 million British travellers taking a cruise last year - so do the port’s facilities.

Earlier this year, it opened a new car park and baggage terminal for Marella Cruises, and August saw it embark on a £500,000 project to widen Northumbrian Quay.

Posted on 30th August 2019 at 06:22 pm in Cruise News |

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