Norwegian Jade is the first of Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships to call at the Port of Tyne (Image: Michel Verdure for Norwegian Cruise Line)
Port of Tyne kicked off September 2017 by hosting a maiden call from Norwegian Jade, the first-ever Norwegian Cruise Line vessel to visit the UK port.
Berthing on 1 September, Norwegian Jade brought 2,400 passengers and more than 1,000 crew to explore North East England. They were able to visit attractions such as the city of Newcastle, UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hadrian’s Wall and Durham Cathedral and Castle, as well as Beamish museum, Alnwick Castle and Gardens and the Durham Dales.
Norwegian Jade will make three calls at the Port of Tyne in 2018.
“The combined effect of the Port of Tyne cruise and ferry business adds some £51 million to the regional economy supporting 1,700 tourism related jobs – making a significant impact,” said Steven Harrison, Port of Tyne’s COO. “The port has worked hard to expand our cruise operations to accommodate these large cruise ships and we are proud to welcome Norwegian Cruise Line for the first time – we hope that Norwegian Jade’s passengers and crew enjoy their visit and return again soon.”
The Port of Tyne will welcome a record 52 cruise calls in 2017, and has already provisionally booked the same number for 2018. This will bring around 50,000 cruise guests to the port each year, in addition to the 600,000 ferry passengers who also pass through on an annual basis.
The new mayor of Dubrovnik said he is in favor of halving the number of cruise passengers arriving daily at the Adriatic port city in Croatia.
Mayor Mato Frankovic, elected in June, told London’s Telegraph newspaper that the current soft ceiling of 8,000 passengers a day should be reduced to 4,000.
He also called for limits on tour operators running day trips to the walled medieval city, which has been a Unesco world heritage site since 1979.
A 2015 Uneco mission recommended that a cap on cruise tourism be developed, and that it should not exceed 8,000 passengers per day.
The Dubrovnik Port Authority said on its website that the cap was exceeded 18 times in 2016 out of the 243 days when cruise ships called. It also said it refused 40 cruise call requests for this year.
Dubrovnik has become one of the most popular stops on an itinerary from Venice to the Eastern Mediterranean, or the reverse route. Last year Dubrovnik had 639 ship calls and handled 831,730 passengers, up 0.1% from the year before, according to Med Cruise, an association of Mediterranean cruise ports. Of those, 763,561 were transit passengers, ranking Dubrovnik behind only six other ports of call in the Mediterranean region.
Frankovic said he would like to see a “reset” for tourism, and that ship calls need to be spaced more evenly so the weekend crush is reduced.
The Unesco report said 90% of cruise calls to Dubrovnik come between May and October. And although cruise visitors accounted for only 2.5% of all visitors in 2013, “they have a disproportionate impact on the World Heritage property due to their concentration in time and space,” the report said.