An enormous cruiseship Celebrity Reflection sails into Belfast this morning, bringing thousands of deep-pocketed North Americans to the city's visitor attractions, shops, pubs and restaurants, there are fears it could be the 'end of an era' for this type of tourism.
As The Irish News reports, it comes as the Dublin Port Company sticks to its guns and restricts the number of cruise ships entering its port from 2021 as it increases freight capacity container vessels post-Brexit.
And when cruise ships can't dock in Dublin, then Ireland as a whole could be wiped from tour itineraries - which will impact heavily on Belfast.
In what is known in the industry as a 'turnaround', the Celebrity Reflection dropped off 3,600 cruise tourists in Dublin yesterday while another 3,600 passengers flew into Dublin to begin their cruise, which has Belfast as its next stop today.
Dublin port sees freight (where volumes have swollen by 36 per cent in six years) as more lucrative than cruisers, and last month confirmed the number of tour vessels it will allow to berth will be slashed from 172 in 2019 to as few as 30 in just two years.
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