Belfast might be the city which built the Titanic, but for years it has not had a berth suitable for today’s giant modern cruise ships.
That changed on Tuesday when the Crown Princess became the first vessel to tie up at the £10 million extension to Stormont Wharf at the head of Belfast Lough. She is the first of 40 cruise ships expected to bring more than 60,000 passengers to Northern Ireland this year.
NI Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy unveiled a commemorative plaque on what is now the longest deep-water berth in Ireland, as 3,100 passengers flocked ashore, many of them heading for the Titanic Quarter.
On Monday, the 113,000-ton Crown Princess had become the biggest cruise ship ever to sail into the Mersey, making a maiden call in Liverpool. Today she sets a similar record in the Clyde, when she arrives at Greenock.