A new terminal is opened in Belfast
Belfast Harbour has invested more than £750,000 (€900,000) on upgrading the quayside facility, which now includes a Visitor Information Centre. This is part funded by Tourism NI and managed by Visit Belfast. The new facility has the latest digital and audio-visual technology to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland’s visitor attractions.
The newly-developed site includes space for coaches, shuttle buses and taxis, and a berth which has been dredged to accommodate newer and larger cruiseships.
Tony McAuley, Belfast Harbour’s cruise director, said: “Cruise calls to Belfast are now up to 148 calls in 2019, an increase of 31% on last year, and this investment in a terminal facility will enable us to offer the anticipated 285,000 cruise visitors a positive welcome and first impression of the region.
“To help attract more visitors, we’ve also invested in new gangways and luggage scanners which will enable us to market Belfast as an embarkation port. Depending on the level of demand locally, this opens up the exciting opportunity for local consumers to join cruises directly from Belfast instead of flying to Southampton or other regional ports.” Cruise & Maritime Voyages has already scheduled a number of departures from Belfast for next summer.
Mr McAuley added: “In line with our sustainability ambitions we have also installed wind-powered quay lighting for the site and a ‘smart flower’ which will generate solar electricity for the terminal building.”
The terminal was officially opened on July 29 when Crown Princess called. Princess Cruises has been a long-standing and regular visitor to Belfast.
In the past three years there has been an 82% increase in the number of annual calls. Northern Ireland’s cruise sector has continued to grow and this year Belfast Harbour is scheduled to welcome a record 148 calls from 35 different cruise lines, including Saga’s newbuilding Spirit of Discovery and Disney Cruise Line for the time with Disney Magic.