Belfast Telegraph

New Belfast cruise ship terminal opens

It is the first dedicated facility of its kind on the island of Ireland.

(L-R) John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism Northern Ireland, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finucane, Captain Domenico Lubrano Lavadera of the Crown Princess, Belfast Harbour’s CEO Joe O’Neill and Gerry Lennon, CEO of Visit Belfast (Handout/PA)Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye
(L-R) John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism Northern Ireland, Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finucane, Captain Domenico Lubrano Lavadera of the Crown Princess, Belfast Harbour’s CEO Joe O’Neill and Gerry Lennon, CEO of Visit Belfast (Handout/PA)Picture: Philip Magowan / PressEye

A new cruise ship terminal has opened in Belfast.

It is the first dedicated facility of its kind on the island of Ireland.

Belfast Harbour has invested more than £500,000 on upgrading the quayside facility, which now includes a visitor information centre.

Joe O’Neill, Belfast Harbour’s CEO, said: “Cruise calls to Belfast are now up to 148 calls in 2019, an increase of 31% on last year and this investment in a terminal facility will enable us to offer the anticipated 285,000 cruise visitors a positive welcome and first impression of the region.”

The new terminal is staffed by Visit Belfast’s travel advisers and uses the latest digital and audio-visual technology to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland’s visitor attractions.

The newly developed site includes space for coaches, shuttle buses and taxis, and a berth which has been dredged to accommodate newer and larger cruise ships.

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Opening the new cruise terminal (Handout/PA)

It will allow visitors to quickly connect to Belfast city centre or join organised excursions to visitor attractions including the Giant’s Causeway, Hillsborough Castle, Mount Stewart and Titanic Belfast.

Mr O’Neill said: “To help attract more visitors, we’ve also invested in new gangways and luggage scanners which will enable us to market Belfast as an embarkation port.

“Depending on the level of demand locally, this opens up the exciting opportunity for local consumers to join cruises directly from Belfast instead of flying to Southampton or other regional ports.”

Cruise & Maritime has scheduled a number of departures from Belfast for next summer including Norwegian Fjord and British Isles itineraries.

In the past three years there has been an 82% increase in the number of annual calls.

The port is the third most popular destination in the UK and Ireland for one-day cruise ship calls after Dublin and Orkney.

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