One of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships arrived in the Port of Tyne today, marking the inaugural call of American cruise line Oceania Cruises.
Nautica was carrying 669 well-heeled passengers - almost 90 per cent from the United States, eight per cent from Canada, and the remainder from Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand and Peru.
The huge 11-deck ship is visiting on a transit cruise as part of a 10-day trip around the British Isles.
She arrived from Southampton at 6.15am this morning, and berthed at Northumbria Quay in North Shields.
She is due to sail at 10pm tonight for Rosyth in Scotland.
Passengers will have a few hours to sample some of the region’s top attractions, including Newcastle city centre, Hadrian’s Wall, Beamish Museum, Alnwick Castle, Durham and Lindisfarne.
It is great to welcome a new cruise line at our award-winning International Passenger Terminal in North Shields - especially one of the world’s most luxurious ships.Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne
They will also visit Washington Old Hall, at the heart of historic Washington Village - home of the ancestors of George Washington, the first President of the United States, and from where the family took their surname.
Port of Tyne chief executive Andrew Moffat said: “Our growing cruise business can accommodate 93 per cent of the world’s global fleet of cruise ships.
“It is great to welcome a new cruise line at our award-winning International Passenger Terminal in North Shields - especially one of the world’s most luxurious ships.”
Nautica has recently undergone a multi-million-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship.
Her decks are resplendent in the finest teak, custom stone and tile work, and her lounges, suites and staterooms boast luxurious, neo-classical furnishings.
She has four restaurants, a world-class fitness centre and spa, eight lounges and bars, a casino and 342 lavish suites and luxurious staterooms.
Nautica is one of 27 cruise ships visiting the Port in 2015, and next year is already set to be even better.
Oceania Cruises are set to return on July 23 with another luxury ship, Marina, visiting the Port of Tyne as part of a cruise around the British Isles.
The Port of Tyne’s cruise and ferry business adds some £55m to the North-East economy every year, supporting more than 2,000 jobs.