North East cruise tourism needs more fluent German language speakers to help support the growing cruise sector.
Experience North DMC, working closely with Port of Tyne, is looking for people who are fluent in German, including German nationals living in North East Englands, to take a series of free workshops so they can help guide cruise passengers on day trips around the region when they are in North East England.
A free one-day-a-week course will take place over six weekends during April and May to prepare new guides for the forthcoming busy period in the cruise calendar. Once trained, these new guides will then work accompanying German-speaking cruise passengers on days out across the region, to help them make the most out of their visit to North East England.
The growth in cruise tourism to North East England is evident in the record number of cruise calls at the Port of Tyne – with over 51 cruises from 12 cruise lines expected in 2018, and 90,000 cruise ship passengers, a number that is growing each year. Popular day trips include excursions to Alnwick, Durham, Hadrian’s Wall and Beamish.
Alex Jacobs, Director, Experience North DMC said: “The Port of Tyne has successfully increased the number of cruise calls, and now the growth in the number of German visitors means more German speaking guides are required. The workshops have been created in direct response to the lack of German-speaking guides and will support in particular German Cruise Lines visiting the Port of Tyne.”
Experience North DMC is directly involved as a ground handling partner with over a third of cruise ships coming into Port of Tyne and also work with many other German travel operators and companies bringing holidaymakers to the UK.
“North East England has so much culture and heritage to offer visitors, but currently we just don’t have enough German Speaking Guides to meet the demand. An English-speaking guide with a translator is an alternative, but we hope through specialist training we can increase the number of German-speaking guides and further support cruise operators,” said Alex.
“We are really looking to employee outgoing people, who like walking and talking with people, who are willing to learn and share their passion for this region with visitors. It is also a great opportunity for someone looking to get started in the guiding and tourism industry.”
Alex himself is bi-lingual and has dual English and German nationality. He is a qualified Blue Badge Guide and has been bringing trips and tours to North East England from Europe since 2008. Alex has lived and worked in both Germany and the UK but it is his passion for this region, North East England that drives his business.
Andy Foster, Commercial Manager, Port Services, Port of Tyne, said: “2017 marked a year of record growth for the Port’s passenger operations and this initiative will further support cruise operators and continue to develop cruise tourism in the North East which adds around £51 million each year to the local economy.”
One of Experience North DMC partners is Intercruises, an experienced global business offering turnaround, shore excursion, port agency and hotel services to the ocean and river cruise industry.
Simon O’Sullivan, Regional Director, Northern Europe, Intercruises, said:
“Germany is the world’s second-largest cruise source market, and its proximity to the UK will result in greater demand for German speakers in the very near future. We fully endorse any initiatives to increase the capacity of the German-speaking tourist infrastructure in Northern English ports.”
The free training course will run for six weeks and cover best practice and what to expect whilst guiding a group of approximately 40 people, how to deal with the pitfalls that can happen and testing out some of the most popular day trips themselves. After completion attendees can anticipate around 10 days work with Experience North DMC this year, with the potential for this to grow in both the North East and Liverpool.