July 17, 2020 @ 17:27 by Chloe Holmes
The Port of Tyne, in North East England, welcomed the return of the DFDS ferry service this morning (Thursday 16 August) to its award-winning International Passenger Terminal.
The route between Newcastle, UK and IJmuiden, near Amsterdam resumed service on Wednesday 15 July with the first sailing, DFDS King Seaways, from IJmuiden arriving into Newcastle at 0900hrs today.
The route had been suspended since the commencement of the UK lockdown in March, however, in response to the Government’s announcement to remove quarantine restrictions for travellers, the leading ferry operator has confirmed that bookings will be taken for the summer and beyond.
Kate O’Hara, Commercial Director at the Port of Tyne, said: “We are delighted to welcome the return of the popular DFDS ferry service, which has been sailing daily from the Port of Tyne since 1995. The route is incredibly important to the region, with almost 600,000 passengers stepping on-board last year.
“The eye-catching ferries have become part of daily life on the River Tyne over the last 25 years and, I’m sure, will be well received by locals and visitors once again.”
The ferry service will operate daily, albeit with a reduced passenger capacity in order to maximise the space available on-board, and to ensure that passengers can comply with Government guidance on social distancing.
When checking in at the Port’s dedicated ferry terminal, measures will be in place to protect its employees, customers and visitors including new signage, social distancing measures, screens for Port and Border Force employees, hand sanitiser stations, and increased cleaning of the terminal.
Additionally, early and staggered boarding and disembarkation procedures will be in place; crew will be issued with protective equipment, and passengers will be advised to wear face coverings for embarkation and disembarkation.
Teun Wim Leene, Route Director at DFDS, said: “It is fantastic to have both vessels returned to service again. Immediately after announcing the start-up date for the Newcastle – Ijmuiden route, our call centres, web-visits and bookings saw a surge in demand.
“Our crew is very much looking forward to welcoming holiday makers and mini cruise passengers back on-board again to rediscover the freedom of ferry travel with DFDS.”
The news comes as the Port of Tyne celebrates 25 years of DFDS ferries sailing from its International Passenger Terminal, with the much-loved route between Newcastle and Amsterdam welcoming almost 600,000 passengers last year.
Much has changed over the years, with the Port investing almost £8 million in its passenger facilities, including a £1.2 million refurbishment of its terminal, which saw an improved passenger lounge, check-in desks and car parking facilities.