News Release

22nd September 2005

Harwich International Port Welcomes Largest Cruise Transit Call Ever


Harwich International Port will today [22nd September 2005] welcome the largest cruise ship ever to make a transit call, with the arrival of Holland America Line’s Westerdam.

David Gledhill, Chief Operating Officer of Harwich International Port, said:

“This prestigious call by the Westerdam will further strengthen Harwich International’s reputation as a leading European cruise port of call, and we very much hope that this will be the first of many transit calls to the Port.”

Whilst in port at Harwich, the Westerdam’s 1,800 passengers will be able to take advantage of the tremendous range of local attractions on offer, and will get the opportunity to fully appreciate the beauty of nearby ‘Constable country’, in addition to numerous coach trips to the popular destinations of London and Cambridge. The Haven Gateway Partnership, of which Harwich International Port is a key partner, will be helping passengers to make the most of their Harwich stopover with free buses to take them into town for shopping and sightseeing. In addition, free guided walks are being offered by the Harwich Society, and excursions to local beauty spots have been organised.

For the first time, a craft fair featuring over 43 stands will be held at the Port inside the Cruise Terminal, showcasing local wares and traditional handicrafts. This has been organised by the Haven Gateway Partnership’s Cruise Co-ordinator, Rachel Fryer, and is hopefully the first of many.

George Courtauld, Chairman of the Haven Gateway Partnership, commented:

“These tourists are visiting some of the most attractive ports in Europe during their cruise trip, which will take in Rotterdam, Barcelona, Le Havre, Vigo, Livorno, Civitavecchia Lisbon, Oslo and Monte Carlo. It is wonderful that Harwich has joined this glamorous list, and we believe that the town and the surrounding area has a lot to offer the visitors; beautiful scenery, historical towns and villages, excellent food and good shopping. We hope our courtesy coaches will help them enjoy the history, spirit and character of this delightful port and its environs.”

The 288m-long Westerdam is the third of Holland America Line’s grand ‘Vista-class’ ships. Onboard, passengers are guaranteed an unforgettable cruise experience; two glass elevators scale the outside of the ship 10 decks up, providing breathtaking panoramic views of the sea; a range of dining options are available, from fancy-dress dinners to casual pool-side dining; and The Greenhouse Spa and Salon offers the largest and most luxurious spa in Holland America’s fleet.