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Foyle Port Prepares for Record-Breaking Cruise Season with Six Inaugural Calls

30th April 2024
Norwegian Star in Lough Foyle on 19th October 2023. Her sister ship Norwegian Dawn is due to call on 19th August 2024
Norwegian Star in Lough Foyle on 19th October 2023. Her sister ship Norwegian Dawn is due to call on 19th August 2024

Derry-Londonderry's Foyle Port is gearing up for a busy cruise season, with nine cruise liners expected to visit the port between May and September, including six inaugural calls.

The Port is celebrating its 170th anniversary this year and is set to welcome returning ships, including the Hebridean Princess, which is scheduled to make two overnight visits in the city centre berth at Fort George. 

Last year, the Port welcomed over 16,000 passengers and crew, including the biggest ship to ever anchor in the Foyle, Norwegian Star. This year, the Norwegian Dawn, its sister ship, is expected to arrive in August. In addition, 50% of the calls this year will be inaugural visits, indicating a growing demand for the destination. 

Foyle Port’s Harbour Master and Operations Director, Bill McCann, expressed his excitement about welcoming back returning cruise lines and eagerly awaits those visiting for the first time. The port has worked hard in recent years to promote the destination on a global scale with the aim of building cruise tourism in the region.

The Chief Executive of Visit Derry, Odhran Dunne, also expressed his delight that Lough Foyle will once again welcome cruise passengers from around the world this year to enjoy the fantastic range of tourism attractions and experiences on offer across the North West region. Many visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the stunning scenery along the Causeway Coastal Route and Wild Atlantic Way, as well as the unique heritage and culture of the Walled City during their visit. 

Louise Denvir, Cruise Marketing Executive at Foyle Port, said that the North West has the most incredible range of tourism products on offer in an area of outstanding natural beauty, making it the most attractive cruise destination on the island of Ireland. The city of Derry-Londonderry, with its award-winning museums, outdoor festivals, and vibrant culture, is right on the Port's doorstep, making it an incredibly compelling destination for international cruise visitors. 

The first cruise ship, Seabourn Ovation, will anchor in Greencastle on May 14th, kicking off the busy cruise season. The complete cruise schedule can be found on the Foyle Port website. Team

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About Foyle Port

Foyle Port, located in the North West region of Northern Ireland, is estimated to handle around 2 million tonnes of cargo per year, with a trade value of approximately £1 billion. The port plays a crucial role in facilitating the import of essential agri-products, supporting around 20,000 farms in the region, as well as various local business sectors such as fuel/oil and construction industries. The organisation supports an estimated 1000 direct and indirect jobs.

Originally located in the bustling heart of Derry City, the Commissioners relocated the port to its current deep-water location at Lisahally in 1993. The terminal boasts an impressive 440 metres of quay and can accommodate large vessels of up to 62,000 DWT. Foyle Port is primarily a bulk port and a significant importer of essential commodities such as oil, coal, animal feed, fertiliser, and plywood, all of which are vital for the North West rural region.

Since 2003, the organisation has experienced significant growth, doubling both turnover and profit and attracting approximately £100 million of inward investment to the region. This investment has supported projects, including a fertiliser plant, an oil tank farm, and a biomass power station.

Established by Act of Parliament in 1854, the Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners is an independent statutory authority with a duty to develop, maintain and operate to the highest standards of efficiency, financial prudence, environmental awareness, safety, and security. The Port is independent of the Government and is self-financing. All financial surpluses are reinvested in the business for the benefit of future generations of stakeholders.