Belfast Harbour plans £7m cruise facility
BELFAST'S position as Ireland's fastest growing cruise destination looks set to receive a major boost from a £7m investment by Belfast Harbour to create the island's first purpose-built cruise facility.
The investment will ensure that Belfast will be able to handle all cruise ships currently operating in the Irish Sea, as well as next generation ships which carry over 4,500 passengers and crew.
It will also enable visitors to disembark directly within walking distance of the city's Titanic visitor attractions - Titanic's Dock & Pumphouse, Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic.
A record 60 ships are scheduled to call at Belfast this year representing a 45pc jump in passengers and crew, up from 75,000 to 110,000 in just one year.
Associated spend with cruise visits is expected to generate more than £18m for the local economy.
Last year, Cruise Critic UK, the leading source of cruise information on the web, named Belfast as 'Best UK Port of Call' in its Editors' Picks Awards 2012.