A ferry route taking passengers from the North East to Holland is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Ferry operator DFDS Seaways and the Port of Tyne, based in South Shields, estimated that the service has carried 10 million passengers across the North Sea since 1995.
The Newcastle to Amsterdam route is an important gateway to North East England and a very significant driver for the region’s tourist economy.Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne chief executive officer
Yesterday, passengers checking in at the route’s North Shields terminal for the trip to Ijmuiden, near Amsterdam, were given a slice of birthday cake.
Other celebrations lined up include a one-day cruise from North Shields on Sunday, complete with birthday afternoon tea and live entertainment from a Michael Jackson tribute act.
Max Foster, passenger director for DFDS Seaways, said: “We are really proud of the ferry service that we operate between Newcastle and Amsterdam.
“The route’s popularity is testament to the hard work and dedication of our ship and shore-side teams.
“They work tirelessly to provide guests with a fun, relaxing and comfortable way to travel to continental Europe and make their journey with us the perfect beginning and end of any European break.”
Princess Seaways and King Seaways are the two sister ferries that currently operate daily services on the route.
Port of Tyne chief executive officer Andrew Moffat said: “The Newcastle-to-Amsterdam route is an important gateway to North-East England and a very significant driver for the region’s tourist economy.
“We are proud to have a long-term relationship with DFDS. While there have been passenger routes for almost 100 years, the Port of Tyne developed the international passenger terminal in the 1990s, and has continued to invest in it and passenger services.
“As a result, around £55million per year is added to the regional economy, supporting many jobs in the tourism sector.”