Belfast readies for busy cruise season as first ship draws alongside

The first cruise send to reach in Belfast this 12 months has marked the beginning of a hectic 12 months for the business and the go back of a key tourism income flow for town.

The Viking Venus was once because of draw along the cruise terminal as of late (Friday) sporting some 900 passengers and the primary of 130 ships scheduled to name this 12 months. Built most effective final 12 months, the send is travelling from London to Bergen, Norway, preventing off at numerous English, Irish and Scottish ports at the method.

Although rather down at the 146 ships which visited Belfast in 2019, the healthier time table is a welcome go back for a sector which was once hit exhausting by way of the Covid-19 pandemic. During 2020, lockdown restrictions introduced the field to a halt whilst in 2021 a complete of 72 ships visited town.

The lineup is made up of fifty other vessels from 33 cruise strains bringing some 340,000 guests to Northern Ireland.

Of word, 18 of the vessels shall be calling in Belfast for the primary time together with ‘Ambassador Ambience,’ from new British cruise line, Ambassador, and Princess Cruises calling with its ships Enchanted Princess & Island Princess.

“Following two challenging years for tourism, the team at Belfast Harbour is thrilled to have 130 cruise vessels booked for arrival at our Port in 2022,” Michael Robinson, Belfast Harbour’s Port Director, mentioned. “This busy cruise schedule signals an increase in customer confidence in travel and will be a welcome economic boost to the local tourism industry.

“The team is also looking forward to welcoming 18 ships for their inaugural call to these shores, which will further enhance Belfast’s and the wider region’s reputation as a must-visit cruise destination.”

Mary Jo McCanny, Director of Visitor Servicing at Visit Belfast, mentioned town was once neatly positioned to renew the expansion of the field as Covid-19 restrictions ease all over the world.

“The partnership between Belfast Harbour and Visit Belfast and on-going support from Tourism NI enables us to provide both shore-side and on-board visitor information services, ensuring a first-class welcome is available to passengers as soon as they arrive in Belfast,” she mentioned. “The Visitor Services team is looking forward to a busy cruise season welcoming visitors from around the world and we will continue to work with our tourism partners and cruise ground handlers in driving much needed business to visitor attractions and experience providers right across Northern Ireland and support the rebuilding of our tourism economy.”

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