|All photos courtesy of the Port of Tyne|
Known for its daily ferry route from Newcastle to Amsterdam, the Port of Tyne has long been a transportation hub in northeastern England. Now the port is working to acquire more cruise vacation business.
Today, the Port of Tyne said it expects 2012 to be its best year ever in the cruise business. A record 36 cruise calls are expected; that total includes a mix of transit calls and turnarounds for cruise ships.
New customers this year include MSC with four calls from the MSC Lirica, as well as calls from Seabourn Soujourn, Discovery Cruises, Swan Hellenic’s Minerva and Peter Deilmann's Deutschland.
Thomson Cruises is also slated to return with 10 calls from the Thomson Spirit. Also returning are Fred.Olsen Cruises with six calls, Saga Cruises with five calls, and Cruise & Maritime Voyages with three calls.
The port has a purpose-built cruise facility, Northumbrian Quay, that's only one of five in the U.K. capable of berthing ships of up to 984 feet.
Putting that in perspective, the port's pier can accommodate ships that are similarly sized to Princess Cruises' Crown Princess, Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam or the Disney Wonder, for example.
Cruise visitors who go ashore for port calls at Tyne can access world heritage sites, coastline attractions, castles, cathedrals, stately homes and gardens, plus the sites of Newcastle itself. In addition, it's just a 90-minute drive for shore trips to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital city, or the historic English city of York.
Last year, the Port of Tyne was named ‘U.K.’s Best Port of Call’ by CruiseCritic.com.
The port recently installed Internet access kiosks at its passenger lounge and completed quayside improvements at both cruise berths at Northumbrian Quay and Whitehill Point.