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Return of DFDS’ Award-Winning North Sea Sounds Mini Cruises

Return of DFDS’ Award-Winning North Sea Sounds Mini Cruises
7 September 2017 James Brooke

Motown, rock and dance legends announced in this year’s line-up.

DFDS’ award-winning North Sea Sounds music mini cruises are back by popular demand and customers are urged to book now to secure their place.

The hugely popular shows, which see the ferry operator’s Newcastle-Amsterdam ships transformed into floating concert venues, offer customers the chance to enjoy a cruise and concert in one.  The shows picked up a Journal Culture Award last year and off the back of that success, DFDS has again teamed-up with Newcastle’s Jumpin Hot Club to offer an eclectic mix of music from some of the hottest bands and DJs from across the world.

Prices for the autumn mini cruises start from £69 per person, including en suite cabin accommodation on board and up to five hours to explore the Dutch capital. This year’s line-up of musical talent features:

Martha and the Vandellas, Voices of Virtue Choir, Nige Brown and Toma & Tiza DJ sets – departs Friday 3 November
Known for a string of iconic hits during the 1960s including Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run and Dancing in the Street, American Motown group Martha and the Vandellas was founded in 1952 with Martha Reeves as the lead singer. Having been backing vocalists for Marvin Gaye prior to signing a contract as a stand-alone group, the band have since received international acclaim and are listed in Rolling Stone’s 100 Immortal Artists.

Martha will also be joined on board by the Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir – a collection of singers from local churches in the North East of England, who will be performing an entrancing mix of both classic soul and contemporary songs including a cover of Sam Cooke’s famous ‘A Change is Gonna Come’.

Also performing on 3 November will be Nige Brown, one of the most sought after Northern soul DJs who has played major venues across the world, along with Toma and Tizer and from the Netherlands Big Boss Man and Wicked Jazz Sounds. After setting the stage alight on last year’s cruise, the DJs will be making their comeback with an upbeat mash up of Northern and contemporary soul tunes.

New Order’s Peter Hook, Kraak & Smaak and Hacienda DJ’s – departs Friday 17 November

One of the founding members of iconic British bands Joy Division and New Order, Peter Hook formed Peter Hook & The Light in 2010, forging a new sound whilst paying tribute to the music which defied boundaries and shook up the industry during the 70s and 80s.

As part of their expansive, critically-acclaimed international tour the band promises radical rifts and will be splitting performances between an evening of New Order and an evening of Joy Division. During the sets Hook will be playing through their respective ‘Substance’ albums, covering a mix of some of each band’s most instantly recognisable classics, including Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and New Order’s ’Ceremony’, as well as a selection of other fan favourites.
Newcastle’s legendary STONELOVE and BULLETPROOF DJs Aaron Mellor and Tallest Paul will play the greatest sea-worthy Indie Rock ‘n’ Roll soundtrack. The weekend is dedicated to the memory of Big Niall, legendary DJ at both Stonelove and Bulletproof and a great fan and friend of Peter Hook.

Making a much-anticipated return to the stage, Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak will also be joining the line-up. After playing Glastonbury this year to a packed out crowd, the act will be bringing their soothing electro sounds back to the seas.

This year, North Sea Sounds forms part of Freedom City 2017, a city-wide programme marking the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. receiving an honorary degree from Newcastle University. Taking place at venues and public spaces across Newcastle and Gateshead throughout 2017, Freedom City 2017 features a large-scale outdoor event, thought-provoking theatre, inspiring exhibitions, uplifting musical performances, world-class academic research and more. Freedom City 2017 brings together international artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and community groups for a city-wide commemoration inspired by the themes of Dr King’s 1967 Newcastle speech in which he spoke of three urgent and great problems ‘the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war’.

Book by 3 November for the Martha Reeves event and by 17 November for Peter Hook & The Light at or call 0871 522 9955.


For further press information or to request an interview with one of the acts or event organisers, please contact:
Rachel Sewell/Katie Raby/Alex Fenton/Stuart Fyfe
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About DFDS
DFDS is Northern Europe’s largest integrated shipping and logistics company, with a network of around 30 routes and 50 freight and passenger ships.

DFDS prides itself on offering world-class facilities and services and the widest choice of ferry routes into northern Europe.

In the UK, the company operates passenger ferry services on routes from Dover to Calais, Dover to Dunkirk, Newcastle to Amsterdam and Newhaven to Dieppe.

DFDS has been named the ‘World’s Leading Ferry Operator’ for the last five years (2011-15), as well as ‘Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator’ at the prestigious 2014 and 2015 World Travel Awards.

DFDS currently operates up to 54 sailings a day between Dover and France on its Dover-Dunkirk and Dover-Calais routes. DFDS also offers two daily sailings between Newcastle and Amsterdam. In addition, the DFDS network includes a passenger and freight service between Newhaven to Dieppe, which has four daily sailings and is operated by Transmanche Ferries.

For further information about DFDS, or to find out about the latest sailing times, fares and offers across all routes from the UK, visit

About Freedom City
Freedom City 2017 is a partnership between Newcastle University, Northern Roots and NewcastleGateshead Initiative. The vision for Freedom City 2017 was devised by Adam and Patrick Collerton and the programme has been co-created with partners across the city. Freedom City 2017 is funded by Arts Council England, Community Foundation, Newcastle University and the Government of the United States.