Newcastle (England) (Photo:Shahid Khan/Shutterstock)
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Anthony Nicholas
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Newcastle (England)

One of the most vibrant cities in the north of England, Newcastle gained a whole new lease on life in the mid-1990s following the rebirth of the derelict downtown Quayside area. Spiffed up along the river banks with a host of trendy bars, restaurants and nightclubs, all set against a spectacular backdrop of several different, very eclectic bridges, the city has an unmistakable stance that renders it almost unique on mainland Britain.

About Newcastle (England)


Pro

Known for its lively nightlife, the city also has a dynamic art scene, plus stunning beaches within a short drive

Con

Wrap up warm. Even in summer the north of England can feel on the brisk side

Bottom Line

A vibrant city characterized by friendly locals, the River Tyne and its famous football club, Newcastle United


Find a Cruise to Newcastle (England)



It retains a mixture of ancient and modern that brings visitors back time and again. The old castle keep, dating from the 11th century, still looms over a cityscape of classical Georgian architecture and vast thoroughfares such as Grey Street, topped by the soaring monument of the same name.

Yet the same city offers up such cutting-edge buildings as the mesmerising, shell-backed Sage Theatre, with its echoes of Bilbao's Guggenheim museum, and the famous Baltic Arts Gallery, acclaimed as the finest in the north of the country. Nearby, the country's first bio-technology "village" can be seen at the astounding Centre for Life.

At the heart of it all is the extraordinary "Geordie" passion for football (Geordie being the famous nickname for people from this region). Premiership team Newcastle United plays out their home fixtures at St. James' Park, venerated almost as a cathedral by the soccer mad locals. The local Newcastle Brown Ale is world famous but, alas, no longer brewed here.

The main cruise season for Newcastle departures tends to be between May and September, with companies such as Fred. Olsen and Cruise & Maritime Voyages using the port on a regular basis.

Where You're Docked

Cruise ships dock at the port of North Shields, some eight miles from Newcastle's city centre. Taxis run to and from the city centre, and there is a light rail service called the Metro that connects North Shields to the city centre. Best stops for alighting in Newcastle are Haymarket and the Central Station. Please note that the Metro usually stops running at midnight.

Good to Know

Pickpockets can be a problem along busy thoroughfares such as Clayton Street, Grey Street and the Bigg Market Area. If using a card to obtain cash from an ATM, make sure your pin number is always shielded.

You should also check out the spectacular span of bridges over the River Tyne -- from the famous "coat hanger" bridge to the modern Millennium, with its blinking "eye" -- from the patio of the Baltic Art Gallery. On a warm summer day this is a truly remarkable vista.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The pound sterling is the official currency. Check www.xe.com for current exchange rates. The city has plentiful ATM machines -- cash points in the local slang-- available 24 hours a day.

Language

English, but often spoken with a very strong dialect that is somewhere between Irish and Scottish.

Shopping

Many would say that a Newcastle United F. C. team shirt, with its totally distinctive colouring, is one of the most evocative symbols of the city. For shopping opportunities, head to the large, mall-type shopping complex in Eldon Square, but don't miss the many side lanes with more quirky, eclectic shopping venues selling everything from herbs and spices to facsimiles of the famous Tyne Bridge.