Tourism increase along with cruise boats to reach within Belfast within 2021

Cruise Belfast has confirmed information on its 2018 cruise schedule, heralding another record cruise season for Belfast and Northern Ireland with 117 ships anticipated to dock in Belfast Harbour, bringing significantly more than 200,000 visitors to Northern Ireland.

25% more ships are booked to reach in Belfast Harbour in comparison to a year ago including, eight new Cruise Lines which have added Belfast for their itineraries, joining the cruise industry’s leading operators Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Cunard. The City is also becoming increasingly well-liked by ‘Exploration and Adventure’ships which operate at the blissful luxury end of the market Visit for travsel info about belfast.

Over fifty percent of the ships calling will each bring over 1,000 visitors to Belfast with the biggest ship, the 330m long Royal Princess, bringing significantly more than 61,000 passengers to the City during her 12 calls. August could be the busiest month with 26 cruise calls bringing over 40,000 passengers and crew.

Among the brand new lines calling is Swiss-based Viking Line which includes recently diversified into ocean going cruising having previously concentrated on the favorite European river cruise market. Viking Line has scheduled four calls to Belfast in 2018 bringing almost 6,000 visitors in total. Other first time callers include ‘mega-yacht’operator Variety Cruises, who’re scheduled to call ten times this summer.

The size of Belfast’s cruise season has additionally extended with the very first call due in mid-March and the final call in mid-October. For the first time it’s expected that passenger and crew numbers to Belfast will break the 200,000 mark, up almost 50,000 in a year.

Tony McAuley from Belfast Harbour said:

“Continued partnership with Visit Belfast on the Cruise Belfast initiative continues to bear fruit. Belfast’s popularity as a cruise destination continues to grow and that is evidenced by the record numbers of passengers and ships because of call this year.

“It’s particularly encouraging that the profile of the cruise lines choosing to come calmly to Belfast continues to diversify, including boutique vessels in addition to large operators such as Princess, Celebrity, Cunard and TUI continuing to schedule Belfast. This season Belfast will play host to an unprecedented 117 ship visits which will be testament to the work of involved with developing the sector.”

Mary Jo McCanny, Director of Visitor Services, Visit Belfast added:

“Belfast’s profile as a journey destination couldn’t be better with recent accolades from National Geographic Traveller and Lonely Planet. The cruise market is one of the most competitive so we work hard with Belfast Harbour to make certain we deliver on our sales and marketing promise, by delivering a first-class welcome and visitor service when each cruise passenger or crew member comes ashore in Belfast Visit for travsel info about belfast.

“This season we will get the chance to welcome an archive 200,000 cruise visitors, demonstrating so how far the region has come and a testimony to the world-class visitor attractions and experiences Belfast and Northern Ireland now have to offer the cruise visitor.”

By the end of the season Belfast Harbour could have welcomed over 700 ships and 1.2 million cruise visitors since the very first cruise ships visited the Port in 1996.


Notes to Editors

Cruise Belfast
Create in 1999, Cruise Belfast is an advertising and visitor servicing partnership between Belfast Harbour and Visit Belfast to attract cruise visitors to Belfast and Northern Ireland.

In the last decade, the amount of cruise visitors to Belfast has quadrupled.

About Belfast Harbour
Belfast Harbour is really a trading company created by statute. It is required to behave commercially and is 100% self-funded. Its task is to operate, maintain and develop Belfast Harbour assets for the advantage of port customers, other stakeholders and consequently the wider economy. As a Trust Port, all profits are retained and re-invested within the business.

The Harbour’s business focus is upon delivering best-in-class infrastructure, built assets and services to guide:

1. Exporters and importers as Northern Ireland’s primary gateway to the entire world and its primary logistics hub
2. Ferry and Cruise ship operators
3. Companies providing services to shippers and cargo owners
4. Estate tenants, both current and prospective

Over 30% of Northern Ireland’s Gross Domestic Product is supported by Harbour activities (source: Centre for Economics & Business Research).

About Visit Belfast
Visit Belfast is really a public/private sector partnership funded and supported by Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and the private sector. It’s the state tourism marketing agency for the Belfast City Region, specialized in promoting Belfast as a city break, conference and cruise ship destination. It is also accountable for the operation of three gateway visitor information centres.


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