Keen ship spotters will be out in force today to welcome a fascinating visitor to the Tyne.
Cruise ship AIDA Vita is due to sail into the Port of Tyne today, passing through the piers at about 1pm.
The arrival of the 203-metre vessel marks the first call of AIDA Cruises, Germany’s largest cruise line.
She will leave tomorrow morning, signalling the busiest day ever at the Port of Tyne’s International Passenger Terminal, where four more arrivals are due.
They are Holland America Line’s Koningsdam, Seven Seas Voyager, Cruise and Maritime Voyages Astor and the DFDS ferry, King Seaways.
Shipping enthusiasts wwon’t find AIDA Vita too hard to spot, due to her unique exterior ‘hull art’, featuring stylised eyes and lips.
The giant red lips and bright eyes on the hull are the work of German artist Feliks Büttner who had the Egyptian Princess Aida of Verdi’s opera in mind when he created the AIDA face.
The cruise line says the art embodies the playful spirit of the firm and gives the ship a “welcome feeling”.
Sven Richards, Port of Tyne operations manager vessels, said: “It will be a busy day, but we have been planning this for some time and have brought in additional staff resources to ensure a smooth operation.”
The AIDA Vita will stay overnight and sail at 8am on Tuesday, before four more passenger ships cruise in to the Port of Tyne.
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