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Port of Sunderland ramps up plans to welcome cruise ships

MS Gann docked in the Port of Sunderland in May 2017

Port of Sunderland has joined the Cruise Britain associaton as part of its plans to bring cruise ships to the city of Sunderland in the North East of England.

The port has hosted several one-off cruise ship calls over the past few years, with the most recent being MS Gann, which arrived from Stavanger, Norway in May 2017. The vessel was the fifth passenger ship to visit Sunderland in 40 years and the first since the turn of the century.

“Port of Sunderland has, for many years, welcomed and hosted cruise ships and their passengers, and it is a market we are interested in exploring further, because we can clearly see its potential and believe that the city and region has much to offer visitors,” said Matthew Hunt, port director. “Though we’re taking very early steps into this market, having successfully hosted cruise ships before – and as the city continues to grow its offer, with stunning developments underway at our beautiful seaside and in the heart of the city – 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.”

The port aims to use existing infrastructure to cater to small and medium-sized cruise vessels, as well as expedition cruise ships.

“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,” said Graeme Miller, chair of the port board and leader of Sunderland City Council. “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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