#CruiseBelfast- Belfast Harbour's bumper cruise season is to have a total of 61 callers this year, among them the largest cruiseship ever to visit the port, the newbuild Royal Princess which has a capacity of 3,600 passengers, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 141,000 tonnes Princess Cruises ship has 1,780 cabins and a crew of 1,300 and she is to arrive on 18 September. She is one of several large cruise callers attracted to Belfast because of the various attractive tourism options to offer cruise-operators.
At the other end of the cruiseship scale at under 10,000 tonnes is the prestigious Seabourn Legend which is visiting Belfast today. She is on her final cruise of Irish & UK ports for Seabourn Cruises and as previously reported she called to Dun Laoghaire yesterday.
Cruise Belfast, a marketing partnership between Visit Belfast and Belfast Harbour is expected to generate a total of 110,000 passengers and crew to visit the city by the end of October. The partnership is also to attract to the city major stop-over calls of the travel itineraries operated by the world's leading cruiseship companies.
The boost to Belfast fortunes is reflected in that the harbour as an international desination is outperforming other key UK port-cities among them Liverpool and Glasgow. In addition Belfast is now ranked as the second most popular cruise city on the island of Ireland with only Dublin surpassing in cruise visitor numbers.