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Faroe Islanders set to spend

Wednesday 28 November 2012 6:00

The region’s visitor economy is in the process of receiving its annual winter booster from a tiny island nation 400 miles away.

For the high speed ferry Norröna sailed into the Port of Tyne yesterday bringing with it 800 passengers ready to shop ‘til they drop in search of Christmas presents.

It’s the fourth year that ferry company Smyrill Line has organised the mini cruise, which journeys some 400 miles from beyond the Shetland Islands to Tyneside.

The Faroe Islanders have their sights set on Christmas shopping in Newcastle City Centre and the MetroCentre and they are expected to bring a welcome boost for shops, bars and restaurants in the run up to Christmas.

Traditionally, we are told, they also collect their Yuletide sweet treats from local supermarkets just before they leave – to beat the prohibitive cost of well known brands of chocolate on the Islands.

Port of Tyne CEO Andrew Moffat says: “We have welcomed a record number of cruise and ferry passengers this year, almost doubling passenger numbers and cruise calls. And the Port’s passenger operations generate almost £50m each year in terms of tourist spend in the region, supporting over 1,700 jobs.

“So it’s good to see the Norröna return, as the very last cruise of the year, and I hope that passengers enjoy their visit and that the shops, bars, restaurants and clubs feel the benefit of this extra business in the run up to Christmas.”