Belfast Telegraph

When you wish upon a star - the day Disney Magic sailed into Belfast

Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

Belfast welcomed a touch of Disney magic yesterday as one of its spectacular cruise ships arrived in style.

The impressive Disney Magic liner, which carries over 2,700 passengers and 945 crew, docked in Belfast harbour on Wednesday morning, allowing tourists to sample the best Belfast has to offer.

On board were a host of Disney stars who have been entertaining passengers as it takes a seven day cruise around the British Isles.

Coloured in classic Mickey Mouse style - a black hull, white superstructure, yellow trim and two giant red funnels, the majestic ship's horn even plays the first seven notes of 'When You Wish Upon a Star'.

The ship itself is totally Disney, with 11 decks of top notch suites, theatres, ballrooms and family entertainment all the way.

Belfast is the first port of call on the cruise and the city proved a winner with the passengers.

Dan Trojanowski, from Oakley, California, was in the city for the first time with wife Gwen and children Caleb and Samantha.

"It's been great," he said. "We had heard of the Ulster Museum so took a taxi over there straight away. It was beautiful. It was only a five minute walk back so we hit most of the shopping areas."

Erica and Izchen from Mexico were delighted to find a well-known north American treat.

"We spent a couple of hours walking around taking photos. We love the architecture and we were delighted to find a Tim Hortons," they said.

Dan and Gwen Trojanowski from California with children Caleb and Samantha
Dan and Gwen Trojanowski from California with children Caleb and Samantha
Erica and Izchen from Mexico
The Disney Cruise Ship
Aubrey and John from Maryland’s Pennsylvania
Cherie Stine from Alabama

Cherie Stine from Alabama arrived with a group of four couples and they sought out a taste of something a little more local.

"We packed in a lot," she said. "We went to Giant's Causeway and to Bushmills and yes of course we sampled the whiskey. I had a hot toddy and it felt fantastic.

"We all got a great taste of Northern Ireland today and thanks so much for arranging some lovely weather for us too."

Young couple Aubrey and John from Maryland, Pennsylvania were also in Belfast for the first time.

"It's been gorgeous," said Aubrey.

"The people have been so friendly and nice, and everything's so very pretty - the castles, the tours and the history."

Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Visit Belfast, said it was a delight to welcome Disney Magic to the city for the first time.

"This is a globally recognised family brand," he said.

"Choosing to add Belfast to this cruise itinerary shows just how far the city and region has come in attracting visitors from across the world." Mr Lennon added: "Belfast is now well-established as a European cruise destination, and an important part of Belfast's tourism mix.

"Cruise tourism gives visitors the chance to experience some of the best attractions and experiences the region has to offer."

The Disney ship, they say, has four captains - Captain Mickey Mouse himself, Captain Hook, Captain Jack Sparrow and, of course, the real ship's Captain - Commodore Tom Forberg.

He set sail for Scotland late last night.

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