Bosses at the Port of Tyne are expecting record numbers of passengers as they prepare for a busy cruise season.
Some 42 cruise liners will be calling at the Port of Tyne’s international passenger terminal in North Shields in 2016, with six ships making inaugural calls.
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ flagship, Balmoral, will be calling the Port of Tyne its home, with 12 cruise calls, and Cruise and Maritime Voyages will be offering 10 sailings.
Others visiting the North Tyneside terminal are Saga Cruises, Swan Hellenic, FTI Cruises, Disney Magic, AIDAvita and Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam, Oceania Cruises, Phoenix Reisen, Regent Seven Seas and Crystal Cruises.
Port chief executive officer Andrew Moffat said: “The Port of Tyne is the closest UK port to the Baltics, the fjords and Russia and offers easy access to the Canary Islands, the Azores, Portugal, Morocco and Spain.
“The Tyne is not only an excellent choice to start or finish a cruise, but it can rival many European ports in terms of easy access to world-class tourist attractions all within one hour from the port.
“We hope people will take advantage of this and spend a day or two in the region before they set off on their cruise.”
Nolan Gray, the port’s business development director, said: “With 17 years of cruise expertise, diverse destinations to choose from and an award-winning passenger terminal, it’s easy to see why cruise operators like Disney Cruise Line are including the Port of Tyne in their first-ever UK itineraries and why bookings are on the up.
“The international passenger terminal is well equipped to handle a wide variety of cruise calls and the recent decision by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines to move its flagship to the port provides further flexibility for travellers wanting to start their cruise holiday from their local port.”