As cruising becomes more popular to the wider public, more British ports are finding themselves on the map as cruising ports of call. We all know about famous cruise ports such as Southampton and Liverpool, but in recent years the Port of Tyne has become well-known as a port of call and cruise embarkation point.
A couple of years ago we witnessed the sad sight of the Queen Elizabeth 2 leaving the Tyne for the last time ever. The crowds were out in force to wave off this grand old lady of the seas. Since then, the Tyne has welcomed other ships from other cruise lines, and whilst it is brilliant for the local economy, it also lets overseas visitors explore the North-East of England, a hidden gem in the world.
Last week the Tyne welcomed Holland-America’s Westerdam. At 83,000 tons it is one of the largest cruise ships to dock on the Tyne. As is the case with most HAL ships, the majority of the Westerdam’s passengers are from the USA. I am so pleased they were able to spend a day in the North-East exploring this beautiful area. Visitors to Hadrian’s Wall, Durham and Alnwick (where a lot of ‘Harry Potter’ was filmed in the castle) are in for a treat and it is absolutely great that this area is being put on the map.
As cruisers ourselves we meet a lot of people from other countries, and it irks me somewhat that they seem to think that everyone in Britain lives in London; they see ‘England’ or ‘Britain’ as being synonymous. Ask any Amercan who’s visited the UK where they’ve been to, and they will invariably say the name of a place in the South, never the North.
Now that Newcastle has become a port of call we should see more cruise ship visitors arriving and appreciating this area instead of just London or Stratford-upon-Avon. That is, of course, if they can actually understand the north-east (‘Geordie’) accent/dialent. It made me laugh the other day to see a visitor, when being interviewed on local TV, say she was looking forward to visiting ‘allan-wick’ (Alnwick) to see the castle and market town. Try saying ‘annick’ 🙂 🙂
But however it is pronounced, I hope that they had a wonderful time and I hope that one day, on a future cruise, we will get the chance to speak to a fellow passenger who has actually heard of the city we live in!