The latest Cruise Britain member, the UK’s Northeast Port of Sunderland, is exploring the possibility of welcoming cruise ships.
“Moving into the cruise and passenger ship market will allow the Port to fully utilise existing infrastructure, bringing ships and their passengers to the city and the wider Northeast region,’ said Matthew Hunt, Port of Sunderland Port Director.
“Though there will be limitations to the size of cruise ships that can visit the city – the port is looking at small to medium size ships and the expedition cruise market – it’s an exciting chance to positively contribute to the city’s tourism economy.
“Cruise lines typically plan three years ahead, so joining Cruise Britain at this time helps to make our presence known across the industry and hopefully sets us up well for the future, when we see tourism return to pre-COVID levels,” he said.
The Port of Sunderland’s plan to market to the cruise sector has been backed by Chair of the Port Board and Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller.
“[The] Port of Sunderland is an increasingly important asset to the city, and one that can positively contribute to the wider economic development of Sunderland in so many ways.
“Though we’re taking very early steps into this market, we hope to increase the frequency of cruise visits to the port in the coming years and add an exciting new dimension to our offer,” Hunt added.
In 2017, the port played host to the last cruise ship – ‘Gann’.
She became the fifth passenger ship to enter Sunderland in 40 years and the first since the turn of the century.