New dedicated cruise terminal opens in Belfast
In 1996 Belfast welcomed it's first two cruise ships. This year Belfast Harbour is scheduled to welcome a record 148 calls from 35 different cruise lines.
Cruise Belfast is a partnership between Belfast Harbour and Visit Belfast. Belfast Harbour has invested more than £500,000 on upgrading the quayside facility which now includes a Visitor Information Centre, part funded by Tourism NI and managed by Visit Belfast. This investment represents an important step in the development of the city’s cruise tourism infrastructure.
The newly developed site includes the space required to service the shore side activities associated with cruise tourism for coaches, shuttle buses and taxis, and a berth which has been dredged to accommodate newer and larger cruise ships.
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 will provide the first dedicated facilities for cruise ships on the island, allowing visitors to quickly connect to Belfast city centre or join one of the many organised excursions tours to a wide range of visitor attractions including the Giant’s Causeway, Hillsborough Castle, Mount Stewart and Titanic Belfast."
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finuncane joined Captain Domenico Lubrano Lavadera of the Crown Princess to officially open the cruise terminal on Monday, 29th July. One of the most popular cruise brands in the world, Princess Cruises have been a long-standing and regular visitor to Belfast.
In the past three years alone there has been an 82% increase in the number of annual calls. Last year Cruise Critic named Belfast as one of the best cruise destinations in the British Isles and Western Europe and the Port is now the third most popular destination in the UK and Ireland for one-day cruise ship calls after Dublin and Orkney