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Cruise Collapse As Belfast Harbour Takes hit But Pledges to Continue Major Investment Projects

3rd July 2020
As AFLOAT reported in March (see CruiseLiners) the MS Fridtjof Nansen (would become) the only cruiseship that called to Belfast Harbour this season. The hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship with a 500 passenger capacity is operated by Norwegian owners Hurtigruten which was promoting the 2019 newbuild which was scheduled next to call to Dublin Port but was cancelled as the Covid-19 scenario was increasingly becoming a major public health emergency. The industry has all but collapsed and is unlikely to recover until 2023. As AFLOAT reported in March (see CruiseLiners) the MS Fridtjof Nansen (would become) the only cruiseship that called to Belfast Harbour this season. The hybrid-powered expedition cruise ship with a 500 passenger capacity is operated by Norwegian owners Hurtigruten which was promoting the 2019 newbuild which was scheduled next to call to Dublin Port but was cancelled as the Covid-19 scenario was increasingly becoming a major public health emergency. The industry has all but collapsed and is unlikely to recover until 2023. Photo: Jehan Ashmore

Cruise fall-out as Belfast Harbour is anticipating that Covid-19 could hit revenues by as much as 20% this year, largely due to the collapse of its cruise, tourist and leisure business.

Port bosses said they do not expect any of the scheduled cruises to arrive in Belfast this year, with plans for a new cruise terminal now on hold.

Just one ship docked (as Afloat reported) in the city in 2020 prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 130 were originally booked, expected to bring around 230,000 tourists to Belfast.

Chief executive Joe O’Neill said it could be 2022-23 before the cruise business recovers.

Belfast Harbour confirmed that its revenues and profits were already down in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

More from The Irish News here.

Published in Belfast Lough
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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