Cruise Port: Newcastle Upon Tyne and Tynemouth
Newcastle Upon Tyne is not a common cruise port but it may become one in the future. While we were out and about on shore, hundreds of VIPs were hosted on board our ship and treated to lunch. Presumably they were given an understanding of cruise passengers expectations and their willingness to spend money if you meet those expectations.
We were pleased to be greeted on shore by volunteers determined to help us enjoy our day in port. Many passengers took off on pre-arranged tours while people like us only planned to look around and enjoy a new place. The nearby village of Tynemouth was recommended as picturesque, friendly and only 20 minutes away on a free shuttle.
We happily took that suggestion and enjoyed a lovely day wandering Tynemouth, taking with locals and dining on bangers and mash with warm beer at a local pub. Tynemouth is a seaside town at the mouth of the River Tyne. There is a beach and a castle and lots of places to sit in the sun and enjoy a coffee or beer.
It was fascinating to see hotels promoting that dogs were welcome. Obviously for the citizens of Tynemouth, it is obviously a requirement if you want their business. We assume that owners walk their dog down to their local and enjoy a pint and a water bowl before walking back home. Makes walking the dog so much more pleasant! Very English!
The novelty of a cruise ship in town was apparent when we saw the townsfolk lining our path along the river to the sea. Obviously we were an event to be witnessed for the locals, but it made us feel good to exchange lots of friendly waves as we departed. Whether Newcastle itself or Tynemouth emerge as the place to spend the day remains to be seen but we suspect that this city will be keen to attract more ships in the future.