Belfast Cruise Season Successful
Despite the late summer and autumn months, Belfast continues to be an attractive destination for cruise ships. As the last ship of the season arrives today, Cruise Belfast will celebrate a strong season with over 141 calls made to Belfast in 2022.
This year’s successful season of cruising, which ran from April to November, saw more than 50 different ships from 33 cruise lines dock in the city. These ships impacted 250,000 visitors who came ashore to explore Northern Ireland’s award-winning tourist attractions.
In Belfast, Northern Ireland, 18 visiting vessels were docked one day in October, including the first two ships from a new British cruise line. The 2-year-old ‘Ambassador Ambience’ joined larger ships like the ‘Enchanted Princess’ and ‘Island Princess’ from Princess Cruises.
Belfast showed its popularity as a tourist destination and Northern Ireland’s rising tourism in 2022, drawing in cruise liners from around the world. The ‘Disney Magic’ with 2,700 passengers arrived in Belfast that year.
After a successful run, Cruise Ambassador and Belfast Harbour’s Port Director Michael Robinson reflected:
The high number of passengers docked in Belfast in 2018 signals a comeback for the tourism industry. This year was an especially busy season as 22 prestigious cruise ships called at the city, including 9 that were making their first visit. There were days when three ships would show up at the Port.
Belfast is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and it’s hard to argue otherwise when considering our facilities, support service, recommendation from other travelers and warm welcome.
BelfastHarbour’s 175th Anniversary was a great time to reflect on the Port and its transformation from a trade hub in #1860 to the cruise industry’s development. The cruise industry has been key for growth, and it looks bright for the future of tourism in Belfast. We’re excited to plan next year’s schedule, and hope to welcome even more first-time visitors who are returning to our shores.
Visit Belfast employs visitor service specialists who care about their knowledge of the city and its visitors. Mary Jo McCanny, Director of Visitor Servicing, said that these specialists help make the experience better for visitors.
Belfast has built a strong reputation as one of the enticing and rotating cruise destinations in Europe. After the terrible pandemic last year, our numbers have increased again and we were even able to welcome international and first-time visitors to Northern Ireland this past season.
Visitors to the Port of Dover are our ambassadors – thank you! Welcome to the UK, and know that the local visitor service teams work tirelessly to provide you first-class support.
Tourism NI is a great partner, and they’ve been helping us build awareness of our region since the beginning. We’ll continue to work with them as we near 2023, so that we can maintain a strong year-round tourism market in Northern Ireland.