The Tyne will be a big draw for sea cruisers this summer with 42 ships set to sail from the river.
The Port of Tyne, which is based at Tyne Dock, South Shields, is preparing to welcome the vessels at its international passenger terminal this year.
As well as turnaround cruises, where ships start and finish at the port, there will also be liners which are making a stop to allow passengers to visit the region for shore excursions.
The company is anticipating this year will be its biggest, with six ships making inaugural calls and new cruise lines – including Disney Magic and German operated AIDA, calling for the first time.
Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne chief executive officer, said: “The Port of Tyne is the closest UK Port to the Baltics, the fjords and Russia, and offers easy access to the Canary Islands, the Azores, Portugal, Morocco and Spain.
“The Tyne is not only an excellent choice to start or finish a cruise, but it can rival many European ports in terms of easy access to world-class tourist attractions, all within one hour.
The Tyne is not only an excellent choice to start or finish a cruise but it can rival many European portsAndrew Moffat
“We hope many people will take advantage of this and spend a day or two in the region.”
For the first time in the history of the port, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ flag ship Balmoral will be calling at the Port of Tyne.
The port provides facilities for vessels more than 300metres in length and up to 10m in draft at Northumbrian Quay.
Its purpose-built cruise berth is capable of accommodating 93% of the global fleet of cruise ships and ideally placed to handle all cruise calls.
“Vessels in excess of 215m can also be accommodated at Whitehill Point.
Nolan Gray, Port of Tyne business development director, said: “With 17 years of cruise expertise, diverse destinations to choose from and an award-winning passenger terminal, it’s easy to see why cruise operators like Disney Cruise Line are including the Port of Tyne in its first-ever UK itineraries, and why bookings direct from the port are on the up.
“The International Passenger Terminal is well equipped to handle a wide variety of cruise calls.
“The recent decision by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines to move its flagship Balmoral to the Port of Tyne, as its home port for 2016/17, provides further flexibility for travellers wanting to start their cruise holiday from their local port.”