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.
Featuring spaces for coaches, shuttle buses and taxis as well as a berth to accommodate newer and larger cruise ships, the new terminal will be staffed by Visit Belfast’s travel advisors.
It will utilize the latest digital and audio-visual technology to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland’s top visitor attractions to cruise passengers.
Crown Princess arrives in Belfast as the first dedicated cruise terminal on the island of Ireland officially opens. More @BBCgmu shortly. pic.twitter.com/IwuSqG0Lx8
— Richard Morgan (@BBCRichardM) July 29, 2019
“Cruise calls to Belfast are now up to 148 calls in 2019, an increase of 31 percent 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,” Belfast Harbour CEO Joe O’Neill said via the Belfast Telegraph.
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.
Congratulations to @BelfastHarbour who marked the opening of the new Belfast Cruise Terminal this morning. It was a pleasure to be a part of the ceremony!! pic.twitter.com/w2kgiK50gh
— Doyle Shipping Group (@DoyleShipping) July 29, 2019