Nolan Gray, Port of Tyne business development director, said: 'As a result of sustained marketing, new cruise calls and with more destinations that you can reach direct from the port, cruise passenger numbers grew by 86% in 2016 to a record 89,564 on 44 cruise calls.'
Port of Tyne expects to set a new record in 2017 with 40% more calls, comprising 19 transit cruises and over 30 turnarounds sailing to destinations that include Andalusia, Barcelona, German waterways, St. Petersburg, the Baltics and around Britain and Ireland.
Returning in 2017 are British operators Thomson Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Germany's AIDA Cruises, Holland and America Line and the return of Disney Magic.
New operators visiting the Port of Tyne include Norwegian Cruise Lines with Norwegian Jade and TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff.
The North East region is home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Hadrian’s Roman Wall and the City of Durham, as well as Alnwick Castle, most recognised for its role as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.
To further support the cruise marketing campaign a new film aimed at cruise operators showcases Port of Tyne’s facilities as well North East England’s tourist attractions.