Go North East, the region’s largest bus company, is preparing for an influx of foreign tourists this festive season as Christmas events and a weak pound encourage more people to visit the North East.
Over the next few weeks, Go North East is set to welcome thousands of DFDS passengers aboard its North Shields ferry terminal bus service, which takes visitors to Newcastle city centre.
With several large-scale shopping events planned in the region this winter, including Christmas markets, Go North East is expecting bumper visitor numbers. The low value of the pound since Brexit is also expected to bring higher than average numbers of our European neighbours over the North Sea in search of bargain Christmas gifts.
Up to 25 buses can be in operation on a daily basis at peak times, deployed from Go North East’s Percy Main depot in North Shields.
During the summer months, the depot also provides bus services for around 35 cruise ship dockings operating from the port.
With many visitors arriving from The Netherlands, a select number of Go North East drivers on the route have gone the extra mile to ensure their customers are made to feel at home in the region – by learning Dutch phrases and common courtesies, to help passengers with their onward journeys.
Stephen King, Head of Marketing and Retail at Go North East, said: “Go North East has worked with DFDS for several years to deliver a superb link between the ferry terminal and Newcastle centre.
“We are provided with an estimate of how many passengers to expect up to one week in advance and our drivers liaise with DFDS daily to ensure we offer a high quality, flexible service; often arranging additional vehicles at very short notice to meet fluctuations in passenger numbers. This strong relationship is evident in the fact that a number of our drivers have learnt Dutch phrases to make our foreign visitors enjoy a warm and friendly North Eastern welcome.”
The 327 DFDS service offers travellers a regular and easily accessible means to reach their destination. For those journeying on to Amsterdam via the ferry, there is also the added assurance that the ship will not depart until the last bus has arrived.