Cruise Ship Terminal Opens in Belfast Harbour
A new cruise terminal opened in Northern Ireland's Belfast Harbour Monday following a more than $612,000 upgrade. The dedicated facility marks the first of its kind on the Emerald Isle.
As the first dedicated cruise terminal on the island of Ireland, it will provide facilities for coaches and a visitor information centre. Its CEO Joe O'Neill said that cruise calls to Belfast were up to 148 calls in 2019, an increase of 31% on last year. He said the investment would "offer the anticipated 285,000 cruise visitors a positive welcome and first impression of the region."
O'Neill also said the new terminal will open up cruising to more people who otherwise might be turned off by the idea of having to fly to a different port.
"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," he added. "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."
It's been 23 years since Belfast welcomed its first two cruise ships. In 2019, Belfast Harbour is expected to welcome more than 145 visits from as many as 35 different cruise lines.