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About Belfast

Belfast enjoys a wonderful setting of high hills, sea lough and river valley. Its name originated from the Gaelic 'Beal Feirste' meaning 'mouth of the sandy fjord'. Founded in the 17th century, the city was one of the world's leading industrial names, home to Harland and Wolff - the shipbuilders who built the ill-fated Titanic.

 

Despite its more recent political troubles, Belfast is today an alluring destination. Amidst its majestic Victorian buildings, shop in stylish boutiques, sip a Guinness, or take a scenic stroll in Barnett Demesne park. The city's centrepiece is the City Hall, completed in 1906, with its domed roof and grand Italian marble staircase. 

 

Must-sees include the Crown Bar. Owned by the National Trust, it's still a vibrant drinking venue, with an amazingly rich and ornate interior of brightly coloured tiles, carvings, stained and etched glass, period gas lighting and cosy snugs.

 

Shore excursions in Belfast

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

The Giant's Causeway

Activity medium

Duration: 6 hours

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland’s most famous landmark.

Travel inland through Ballymena and Bushmills to the dramatic North Antrim Coast, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway.

The unique rock formations of the Causeway have, for millions of years, stood as a natural rampart against the unbridled ferocity of the Atlantic storms and the rugged symmetry of the columns never fail to intrigue and inspire. Be amazed as you scan the mysterious stones and look for the structures which resemble objects such as the Organ, Giant's Boot, Camel's Hump and Chimney Stacks. Explore the causeway at your own leisure and discover the history via the Visitor Centre audio guide handsets.

During your tour, enjoy brief photo stops at the magnificent cliff-top Dunluce Castle, and at a viewpoint that overlooks the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

If time permits, a short panoramic city drive of Belfast will be made, before returning to the pier.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. In the interests of conservation, the Giant's Causeway restricts the number of daily visitors and capacity is restricted. It is important to note that once this tour is sold out, additional space cannot be obtained. To make the most of your time at the Causeway, you are encouraged to use the complimentary shuttle bus service which runs from the coach park directly to the Causeway. The journey time is 5 minutes. Due to the location of the Giant's Causeway it can feel windy and slightly cooler so it is advisable to take a jumper or light jacket. The city-drive will only be undertaken if time permits and cannot be guaranteed.

Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

View the sights of Belfast on a city drive and visit the historic Crumlin Road Gaol.

Take a drive through Belfast and gain an insight into the city’s long and often turbulent history. From the city’s colourful development and great industrial triumphs to its civil unrest.

You’ll pass by places such as the Grand Opera House and Albert Memorial and the Queen’s University. A photo stop will be made at the impressive Belfast City Hall that dominates Donegall Square. The most notable feature in the grounds is the marble figure of the goddess Thane, in memorial to the victims of the RMS Titanic.

Your drive will take you to the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road, where the political murals are located. A short stop will be made here for you to view this poignant artwork.

The main feature of your tour will be a visit to the Victorian Crumlin Road Gaol, now fully renovated, but still retaining the eeriness of its past. Your guide will share the story behind this historical and architecturally significant prison building, which finally closed its doors in 1996 after 150 years. Discover how prison life was at Crumlin and view areas such as the C-Wing, the condemned man’s cell and the execution cell. You’ll also be taken into the infamous underground tunnel that once led to the Courthouse, the same route that the prisoners would have taken.

At the end of your visit there will be a brief opportunity to visit the small shop and museum, before the return drive to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around 1 hour of walking which includes steps. Flat, comfortable shoes are advised. Passengers will be entering the underground tunnel on this tour.

Belfast by Black Cab

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 3 hours

Step aboard an iconic black cab and let your entertaining local driver take you on a tour of Belfast.

You’ll be picked up directly from the pier in your black cab, exclusively just for 2, and set off to discover Belfast, which includes a stop to enjoy a traditional Irish coffee.

Belfast is a city best explored with those who have lived through its ups and downs and can share with you its wonderful secrets. Your informative local taxi driver will take you on a journey that offers a fascinating insight in to both the past and present of Belfast.

Your drive will take you deep into the streets of the Belfast, taking in the highlights, and you’ll also head to the outskirts of the city to the Stormont Parliament Buildings. A short stop at the gates of this historic edifice provides a great photo opportunity.

Heading back into the centre of the Belfast, a visit will be made at McHugh's Pub. Built more than 300 years ago, this traditional Irish pub is housed in one of the oldest remaining buildings in Belfast. Enjoy a classic Irish coffee whilst taking in the rustic atmosphere.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by black cab. There are limited places on this tour and early booking is advised. This tour involves around 1½ hours of walking over relatively flat ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. This tour is not suitable for children.

Belfast by Black Cab

Belfast City Walking Tour

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 3½ hours

Experience the sights, sounds and atmosphere of Belfast whilst listening to its captivating history.

Stroll the charming streets of Belfast and immerse yourself in 300 fascinating years of history. Savour the architectural gems as you explore the city’s humble origins and follow the original 1660’s street layout. Starting at Queen’s Square, the oldest part of the city, you will see the Custom House and Albert Clock, before wandering down to the River Lagan. Here, you can glimpse the cranes of Harland and Wolff shipyard whilst listening to tales of the famous ill-fated Titanic that was constructed here. As you amble along the High Street your guide will explain the city’s historic origins whilst you pass Pottingers Entry, Ann Street, Cornmarket, Castle Lane, Castle Arcade and Donegall Place. Marvel at the City Hall, a symbol of Belfast’s Victorian greatness, where the Titanic Memorial is located in its grounds.

Belfast’s friendly pubs have been the cornerstones of the city’s social life for centuries. You’ll stop at one of these pubs where you’ll be able to soak up the local atmosphere whilst enjoying refreshments of tea, coffee and scones.

On the return drive, you will pass the renowned Catholic Falls Road and Protestant Shankill Road. A photo stop will be made at the murals which tell the story of Belfast’s troubled past.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves steps, inclines and 1½ hours’ continuous walking. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended.

Belfast Highlights and Titanic Experience

Activity medium

Duration: 4 hours

Combine the main sights of Belfast with a visit to the innovative Titanic Belfast for a fascinating and interactive Titanic Experience.

A leisurely drive around Belfast’s main sights will introduce you to the many varied features of Northern Ireland’s largest city including the Grand Opera House, Albert Memorial, Queen’s University, Botanical Gardens and many of its other fine buildings. Your knowledgeable guide will explain all about Belfast’s rich and varied history as you pass the majestic renaissance style Belfast City Hall which houses the Titanic Memorial in its grounds. A photo stop will be made at the political wall murals at the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road, which are a poignant reminder of Belfast’s turbulent past.

The main highlight is a visit to the new state-of-the-art Titanic Belfast, which is housed in an iconic, hull shaped building adjacent to the site where the Titanic was constructed. This fascinating Titanic Experience, created to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the tragic liner, uses special effects, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way.

You’ll have around 2 hours to explore the 9 large galleries on a self-guided audio tour and to discover the story of the Titanic. You’ll hear stories of the passengers, crew and the heroes of the day before reliving the drama of Titanic’s tragic end. Finally, in the unique Ocean Exploration Centre, you’ll be able to see the wreck at her resting place on the floor of the North Atlantic Sea. If time permits, you can also view the slipways where the Titanic was launched, relax in one of the restaurants or browse the extensive gift shop before returning to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The visit to Titanic Belfast is a self guided audio tour. There are lifts to all of the 6 floors and guests will have around 2 hours in total at the attraction.

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