Huge TUI cruise ship Marella Explorer 2 sails past South Shields into River Tyne marking start of 'cruise season'

A huge TUI cruise ship has sailed into the Port of Tyne this morning marking the start of the port’s ‘cruise season’ as Covid restrictions are eased.

The cruise liner called the Marella Explorer 2 arrived at around 6am on July 8 after travelling from IJmuiden, a city in the Netherlands.

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With 14 decks and 907 cabins, the vessel makes for an impressive sight, with many people stopping to admire the ship from South Shields’ riverside on Thursday morning.

The TUI Marella Explorer 2 cruise ship at the Port of Tyne can be seen from South Shields riverside.

A Port of Tyne spokeswoman said: “The arrival of the TUI cruise ship, the Marella Explorer 2, today marks the start of our cruise season.”

The cruise ship arrived at the port for a two night ‘weekend escape’ break – one of many UK cruises operator TUI is offering passengers this summer.

The itinerary for the trip will see passengers embark at Newcastle and enjoy a day at sea before returning to the city on the third day of the cruise.

The Tyne is no stranger to cruise ships, but this summer there could be a lot more than usual

The Marella Explorer 2 is set to return to the Port of Tyne on August 13 for an eight night ‘coastal delights’ cruise starting in Newcastle.

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The cruise will see passengers enjoy trips to Leith, Invergordon and Greenock in Scotland, Holyhead in Wales and Liverpool before returning to Newcastle.

A Tui spokeswoman said: “The Marella Explorer 2 is currently in Newcastle as we’re setting sail for our UK cruises from this Saturday for July and August.”

The UK trips come as the cruise industry looks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic while uncertainty around foreign travel persists.

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By April, several operators including Fred Olsen and Saga confirmed they will be sailing into and from the Port of Tyne as they launch new UK cruise staycations for summer 2021 and beyond.

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