Port of Sunderland has confirmed it is “looking seriously” at welcoming passenger ships on a regular basis.
Jane Imrie

Tourism boost for North East coast as port sets sights on cruise market

Bosses at a North East port have announced they are exploring opportunities within the cruise market.

Port of Sunderland has confirmed it is “looking seriously” at welcoming passenger ships on a regular basis.

Director at Port of Sunderland, Matthew Hunt, explained: “Moving into the cruise and passenger ships market will allow the port to fully utilise existing infrastructure, bringing ships and their passengers to the city and the wider North East region.

“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.”

The comment comes after Port of Sunderland signed up to B2B network Cruise Britain, which supports cruise ports looking to attract cruise ships to their shores.

Matthew continued: “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.”

Chair of the port board and leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, added: “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. I warmly welcome the port exploring the cruise ships market.

“As someone who moved to the city to raise my family, I see the city for the incredible seaside destination it is.

“Our beaches stand up against any I have seen, our cultural assets are a huge draw – from the theatre to Washington Old Hall – and we have some stunning places to visit, from Penshaw Monument, to the National Glass Centre, and from our regenerating city centre to the rolling hills of Herrington Park.

“We have to start shouting about what we can offer, and I am pleased the port is flying the flag for the city.”

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