PORT OF TYNE'S BUSIEST DAY ..
A major UK port has experienced the busiest day in its history after welcoming five passenger ships including the largest cruise liner ever to grace its waters.
Today (TUES) Holland America Line's Koningsdam became the most colossal cruise ship to visit the Port of Tyne in the North East of England at 297.2 metres long and 99,500 gross tons.
Koningsdam is one of the world's newest cruise ships and brought almost 4,000 passengers and crew to the region. It was launched for the first time in April of this year.
Every available passenger berth was in use today (TUES) as the five passenger ships docked at the port on the River Tyne.
German-operated Aida Vita, arrived yesterday closely followed by the Seven Seas Voyager, Koningsdam, the DFDS King Seaways and Astor.
The combined length of all five vessels was 1,043.90 metres (3,424.86 feet) and an estimated 10,000 passengers and crew were expected to pass through the Port's International Passenger Terminal during the day.
The Port of Tyne once brought prosperity to Newcastle due to the export of coal. Since the decline of the coal industry the port has switched to the export of cars manufactured in the North East, and regularly welcomes luxury cruise liners to its docks.
Andrew Moffat Port of Tyne, Chief Executive Officer, said: "The Port has worked Hard to increase the number of cruise ships coming into the region and this year we expect a record 43 cruise calls, up from 29 last year.
"Whilst this is good news for the Port of Tyne, it is also very good for the region - the impact on the local economy is estimated at around £50 million each year, supporting 1,700 jobs.
"The team is well prepared and looking forward to welcoming a record number of international visitors in just 24 hours."
A record number of coaches were also expected to take passengers on tours to explore North East England and its visitor attractions such as Alnwick Castle and Gardens, Hadrian's Roman Wall, Durham Cathedral and City, and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
For further information on the cruises available from the Port of Tyne visit the Port's website www.portoftyne.co.uk/cruise or contact your local travel agent.
Pictures by North News staff photographers Will Walker and Richard Rayner.