FROM Seaburn to Seabourn – Hamish Elliott is captain of the waves.
Captain Elliott was at the helm of the one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world, the Seabourn Sojourn, as it sailed into the region.
It was somewhat of a homecoming for the 43-year-old, who lives in Seaburn, and fellow Mackem and cruise director Susan Wood, from Fatfield, Washington.
The vessel proved quite an eye-catcher as she sailed into the Port of Tyne.
Seabourn Sojourn has the highest ratio of space per guest in the cruise industry, including the largest spa on any luxury ship and private verandas on 90 per cent of her suites.
“It’s great to be able to bring a cruise call a little closer to home,” said Captain Elliott.
“This is the first time Seabourn has visited the Port of Tyne. I hope that passengers and crew enjoy their time in port.
“There’s some amazing things to do here and I always tell guests this is the best port of call.”
His wife, Gail, who accompanied him on the ship, was getting off to go back to their Sunderland home.
The former St Anthony’s pupil said: “It is lovely to come back home and I felt very proud to be from the region when we sailed this morning.”
The Sojourn brought more than 450 passengers, mostly Americans, to the North East.
They will visit attractions including The Sage Gateshead, The Baltic, Newcastle city centre, Hadrian’s Wall and Alnwick Castle and Garden.
The 12-day cruise began a week ago in Portugal and has included in its itinerary Oporto, La Coruna, Cork, Dublin, Invergordon, Leith, Newcastle, Holland and Hamburg.
Cruise director Ms Wood added: “I’m going back to Fatfield today for a couple of hours to catch up with friends and family. I’m thrilled to be back in the North East.”
Steven Harrison, chief operating officer at Port of Tyne, said: “Our cruise and ferry business contributed £45million to the region’s tourism economy last year.
“We are delighted that Seabourn Sojourn is including the Port in an itinerary for the first time.
“Passengers can expect a warm welcome with plenty to see and do at tourist attractions across the region.”