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Whitney Houston takes ferry to avoid delay

Singer Whitney Houston decided not to join the thousands of travellers returning to the skies, instead opting to leave Ireland how she arrived - by car ferry.

The global star joined passengers on Stena Line's 11.45am sailing from Belfast to Stranraer after the latest leg of her world tour.

The 46-year-old, who arrived in Dublin last week on a boat from Holyhead in Wales, was one of number of high-profile customers to take to the waves during the Icelandic volcano cloud crisis.

Golf star Rory McIlroy, the Ulster and Ospreys rugby teams and millionaire businessman and racehorse owner JP McManus have all travelled with Stena Line in the past week.

In the past seven days the company has welcomed an additional 45,000 passengers on board - twice the normal number for this time of year.

Houston, who has received some rather mixed reviews for her performances on her Nothing But Love tour so far, settled down in the reserved lounge area on the HSS Stena Voyager craft.

Stena Line Communications Manager Nigel Tilson said: "We've certainly had a busy week and estimate that we have carried twice the amount of passengers that we would normally expect at this time of year.

"Whitney was the most famous but not the only celebrity to travel with us at this time as we also carried rising golf star Rory McIlroy, the Ulster Rugby and Ospreys Rugby teams and millionaire businessman and racehorse owner JP McManus.

"It has been a terrible time for those who have faced disruption but we have done everything we can to accommodate people wishing to travel to and from Britain.

"In the past week, we have brought in extra staff, increased our capacity by working closely with transport partners and installing extra server space on our website."

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