As the last ship of the cruise season arrived in Belfast (Northern Ireland) on November 14th, 2022, Cruise Belfast, the partnership between Visit Belfast and Belfast Harbour is celebrating the end of a strong season, with 141 calls made to the port in 2022.
This year’s successful season, which ran from April through to November, saw 52 ships from 33 different cruise lines dock in the port, carrying 250,000+ visitors who came ashore to explore the award-winning tourist attractions of the country.
Among the visiting ships were 18 making their inaugural call to the shores of Belfast, such as Island Princess and Enchanted Princess from Princess Cruises and Ambience from the new British company Ambassador Cruise Line.
Reflective of the increasing popularity of Northern Ireland as a tourist destination, along with Belfast’s position as one of the UK and Ireland’s vibrant ports of call, many lines made a return to the port this year, including DCL's Disney Magic which arrived with ~2700 tourists (passengers and crew) onboard.
Reflecting on the success of the season, Michael Robinson, Belfast Harbour’s Port Director, said that this year’s busy cruise schedule signaled a comeback for the tourism industry after 2 difficult years, and they were delighted to have many prestigious lines docking in Belfast.
Robinson added they had hosted 50+ different ships, including 18 on their first call to the port city, and there had been days over the summer when they had 3 ships in the Port.
“Belfast Harbour celebrated our 175th Anniversary this year, and it has been a fantastic opportunity to reflect on the transformation of the Port as well as the wider City over the last few decades. The cruise industry has been key to the growth and development of our tourism industry and the future looks bright for Belfast. We are excited to be working on next year’s schedule, and we hope to welcome even more first time and returning visitors to our shores, further cementing the City’s place as a must-see cruise destination.”