A RECORD-breaker has cruised into the Port of Tyne in South Shields.
Carrying almost 3,500 passengers and crew, the MSC Magnifica is 294 metres – longer than the QE2 – and the largest cruise ship ever to visit the Port.
The Magnifica visited yesterday as part of a Round Britain cruise with thousands of passengers from as far afield as Germany, Japan, the US and Canada.
During the vessel’s nine hours in port, passengers explored regional tourist attractions, including Alnwick Castle and Garden, Durham Cathedral, Hadrian’s Wall, Howick Hall Gardens and Newcastle City Centre.
More than 62,000 cruise passengers and 536,000 ferry passengers were welcomed at the Port of Tyne last year.
The combined economic impact of the Port’s cruise and ferry operations is estimated to inject almost £50m to the regional economy, supporting more than 1,700 tourism-related jobs.
Steven Harrison, Port of Tyne chief operating officer, said: “We have the capacity to handle 95 per cent of the world’s cruise ships and it’s great to see the port welcoming increasing larger vessels.
“Last year we were named UK’s Best Port of Call, and the arrival of the Magnifica goes someway to indicate the growing popularity of both the port and North East England as a viable destination for cruise visits.”
The Magnifica is set to return next week – at 9am on Wednesday, September 4 – as part of a nine-night Northern Europe Cruise calling at Hamburg, Helgoland, South Queensferry, Port of Tyne, Dover, Le Havre, Zeebrugge and Amsterdam.