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1,000th Cruise Ship Call to Belfast Harbour As 'Cunarder' Vista-Class Visits

8th October 2021
Queen Elizabeth, became the the 1000th cruise ship to visit Belfast Harbour where a tug led the traditional precession of water cannons on display yesterday evening. The Cunard Line 'Vista' class ship departed the port for the sixth, and final time this season Queen Elizabeth, became the the 1000th cruise ship to visit Belfast Harbour where a tug led the traditional precession of water cannons on display yesterday evening. The Cunard Line 'Vista' class ship departed the port for the sixth, and final time this season Credit: Belfast Harbour-twitter

The 1,000th cruise ship call to Belfast Harbour took place yesterday according to Cruise Belfast, which works in partnership between the port and Visit Belfast.

Cunard Line's MS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Belfast marking a significant milestone for tourism in Northern Ireland, as well as the region’s gradual economic recovery from the pandemic.

Cruise tourism to the city restarted in June this year, with domestic, UK-only cruise itineraries and, to date, the arrival of MS Queen Elizabeth is the 66th cruise call to Belfast this year. The 'Vista' class ship is Cunard's newest luxury ocean liner, which first visited Belfast in 2016 and this will be on a  sixth call to Belfast Harbour.

The celebrated arrival of the ‘Berlin’, the first cruise ship to arrive into Belfast in 1996, marked the start of what has been a huge success story for tourism in Northern Ireland, with cruise calls growing year on year, welcoming an incredible 1.7m visitors in the 25 year period.

2019 was a record year for cruise calls, with 146 vessels bringing 285,000 visitors to Northern Ireland, before cruise operations temporarily ceased due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Belfast was named by Cruise Critic as the ‘Best Port of Call’ in the UK and Ireland in 2019 for cruise ships following an investment by the Port to create new quayside facilities and funding from Tourism Northern Ireland for a dedicated cruise Visitor Information Point.

Managed and staffed by Visit Belfast, the terminal uses the latest digital and audio-visual technology to help travel advisors showcase the range of visitor attractions on offer across Belfast and Northern Ireland.

Published in Cruise Liners
Jehan Ashmore

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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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