Cruise ship visits to the North East are on the rise

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A RECORD number of families will sail into the North East this year, boosting the region’s economy by millions, says a new report.

At least 37 cruise ships set to berth at the Port of Tyne, nearly double the number in 2011.

Coupled with daily ferries from Amsterdam, the liners are expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to the region, boosting shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and visitor attractions.

Last year, more than 300,000 people visited the region on the DFDS ferry and 35,000 visitors came on cruise ships – worth an estimated £45million to the region’s economy and supporting 1,700 jobs.

North East holidaymakers will also get the chance to travel to more destinations, as a record 17 cruises plan to start at the Port of Tyne.

Alicante and Malaga in Spain and cities such as Lisbon in Portugal and St Petersburg in Russia will feature alongside Scandinavia and Northern Europe in cruise schedules.

Andrew Moffat, the port’s chief executive, said they are delighted to be welcoming a record number of cruise ships, starting from April and continuing through the season.

He said: “It is a real coup to have some of the world’s leading cruise operators either starting their cruise itineraries here or making sure that they make North East England one of their stops on the journey.”