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Northern Ireland Cruises

Northern Ireland is one of the prettiest places in the British Isles. 

Unspoiled by rampant development, Ireland’s northern coastline is long and full of interestingly haphazard rock formations. It may also surprise you to learn that Northern Ireland boasts the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles – Lough Neagh, just to the west of Belfast.

But this isn’t just a country of rugged landscapes and outdoor pleasures. In recent years the country’s tourism industry has thrived, thanks in large part to the rich cultural heritage and exciting creativity on display in the cities. Once you come face to face with the country’s increasingly enviable music and food scenes, you’ll see why.

Top 5 interesting facts

  • People born here can legally be classed British, Irish, or both. 
  • Goodfellows tree kangaroos live at Belfast Zoo. 
  • 11% of Northern Irish people know how to speak some Gaelic.
  • Belfast’s Albert Memorial Clock Tower leans slightly to the left. 
  • Gaelic games include Gaelic football, hurling, handball and rounders.
 

Highlights

The Area

Belfast is an easy city to walk around, with attention-grabbing sights at every turn –from the Victorian Grand Opera House to the Waterfront Hall and Ten Square. The population in Northern Ireland has risen yearly since 1978, cementing Belfast as a youthful city, with lots of pubs, restaurants and frequent cultural festivals. 

Derry’s riverside setting makes it the perfect city to just wander through aimlessly, and the friendly locals will happily give you directions if you need. The super-modern Peace Bridge across the River Foyle, built to improve relations between the unionists and nationalists on either side, is a good place to start your journey. From there you’ll witness a beautiful view that should give you a better understanding of how the city fits together. 

Historic Attractions

Crumlin Road Gaol is one of the eerier places in Belfast, dating back to 1845. Since 1996, it’s been closed as a working prison and is now a fully renovated visitor attraction and an excellent spot to see on a cruise to Northern Ireland. Guided tours take you into the underground tunnel that used to connect the gaol to the Crumlin Road Courthouse.  

Belfast’s Titanic Experience has nine interactive galleries offering special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative features. There’s a fascinating shipyard exhibition, where you can see the high-tech equipment used in ocean exploration, learn more about the local seas and view underwater footage from Ulster University.

 

Heritage

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Any ancient artefact hunters will love the Ulster Museum here. Northern Ireland's treasure house of the past and present, it’s home to a rich collection of art, history and science, and features many galleries and interactive discovery zones.

In Derry the political history is still apparent, with significant sites dotted around the city. Free Derry Corner commemorates the autonomous nationalist area that once existed – there’s also a memorial to the 1981 hunger strikers here too. The Bogside Heritage Trail features 12 huge murals that depict three decades of conflict, a harrowing but fascinating internationally renowned gallery. 

Don’t miss the award-winning Tower Museum in Derry. It has an open-air viewpoint right in the heart of the city, offering wide-reaching views of the inner city and the River Foyle too.

 

Ports in the country

 

Cruises visiting Northern Ireland

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