Ferry Good Year
As DFDS Seaways gets ready to mark the 15th anniversary of its Newcastle to Amsterdam route, the leading cruise ferry operator is also celebrating the culmination of the route’s most successful year on record for passengers travelling.
DFDS Seaways launched the daily service between Newcastle and IJmuiden, the port outside Amsterdam, on the 18th May 1995 and the service has provided a vital link between the North East and Northern Europe ever since.
Despite the UK travel industry experiencing a turbulent past 12 months DFDS Seaways has bucked the trend with an increase in passenger numbers of 10%, with 531,000 travelling on the route in 2009.
The Newcastle to Amsterdam route has had a significant impact on visitor numbers to the North East region and beyond. Within the last 12 months DFDS Seaways has seen an increase in inbound customers of , +19%. This was helped by the growing trend for passengers to buy short breaks to visit the North East, capitalizing on the rich culture, shopping and sporting events.
DFDS Seaways UK Managing Director John Crummie attributes the increase to Northern European tourists capitalizing on the weak pound, commenting: “NewcastleGateshead and the wider North East region has become even better value for money with a stronger Euro. We have seen a rise in the short break business from Holland and Germany, which is undoubtedly being driven by the favourable exchange rate.”
Passengers travelling across from Holland and Germany to the North East for longer holidays have also increased throughout 2009, with an extra 12% s travelling with their vehicles.
John Crummie added: “Holidays in England have become extremely good value, and we have seen an increase in passengers travelling across with their vehicles, demonstrating that the route not only brings tourists in the NewcastleGateshead and the immediate area, but opens up the whole of the North East and Scotland to tourists.”
Passengers travelling out of the UK, on short cruise breaks grew modestly due to the current economic climate. However, UK passengers travelling with vehicles on longer holidays, grew 2%.
John Crummie attributes this uplift to British passengers opting for self drive holidays and becoming increasingly disillusioned with low cost airlines and baggage restrictions, commenting: “Travelling by sea is a far more relaxing than the experience that many of us have had of travelling through airports. You can simply pack up the car with everything you need and drive onboard. Travellers have also become wise to the no frills airlines that were once the option for bargain travel now having expensive “add ons” and are becoming more reluctant to book.
“The Newcastle to Amsterdam route has always been a gateway in to Europe for travellers from the North East, but in 2009 more than ever our passengers were opting to sail to Europe on a driving holiday, rather than taking an airbased package. In difficult economic climates travelers are looking for value for money, be it experience and price.”
Crummie concluded: “2009 has been a turbulent year for the travel industry but I am pleased that we are bucking the trend and capitalizing on the current economic climate. The daily crossings between Newcastle and Amsterdam are vital to tourism in the North East as well as providing a gateway in to Europe for the region. The route has been extremely successful in 2009, helped in part by the strong Euro, and the British traveller becoming increasingly disillusioned by low cost airlines. As we move in to the 15th year of this service we are confident that the route will continue to be as popular as ever.”
DFDS Seaways success was recognised by the travel industry when the company was awarded Europe’s Leading Long Sea Ferry Operator 2009 at the World Travel Awards, the industry’s “Oscars”. Winning the award for the third consecutive year confirmed DFDS Seaways place at the forefront of the industry.
Issued on behalf of DFDS Seaways by Robson Brown
For further press information please contact Sophie O’Mahony at Robson Brown on 0191 2446669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org