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Belfast Cruise Port Guide, Northern Ireland


by Tamarra Fultz



Welcome to Belfast, a vibrant and bustling city located in Northern Ireland. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality, Belfast has become a popular destination for cruise ship passengers. Whether you are visiting for a day or staying for a few nights, Belfast offers a wealth of attractions and experiences that will captivate and engage you.


Belfast is known for its mix of old-world charm and modernity, with historic buildings standing alongside contemporary architecture. The city’s unique blend of cultures and influences is evident in its cuisine, art, and music scene. Whether you are interested in exploring the city’s fascinating history, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, or immersing yourself in the stunning natural beauty of the surrounding area, Belfast has something for everyone.


Located on the east coast of Northern Ireland, Belfast is easily accessible by cruise ships and offers a convenient and well-equipped cruise port. As you disembark, you will be greeted by friendly staff who can provide you with information, assistance, and guidance to ensure a seamless experience during your stay.


In this Belfast Cruise Port Guide, we will provide you with valuable insights and recommendations to help you make the most of your visit. From the facilities available at the cruise port to the nearby attractions, dining options, shopping opportunities, and transportation options, we will cover everything you need to know to have an unforgettable time in Belfast.


So, whether you are a history enthusiast, a nature lover, a foodie, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the unique culture of this incredible city, Belfast and its surrounding areas will not disappoint. Get ready to explore, discover, and create lifelong memories as we take you on a journey through the wonders of Belfast, Northern Ireland.



Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and is situated on the eastern coast of the country. It is conveniently located just a short distance from the Irish Sea, making it easily accessible for cruise ships to dock at its well-equipped port.


The port of Belfast is located in the heart of the city, allowing cruise passengers to step off the ship and immediately immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere and cultural offerings of Belfast. The port is well-connected to the city’s transportation network, making it easy to explore various attractions both within Belfast and in the surrounding areas.


Belfast’s strategic location also makes it an ideal starting point for exploring the stunning landscapes and natural wonders that Northern Ireland has to offer. From the iconic Giant’s Causeway to the rugged beauty of the Mourne Mountains, there is no shortage of breathtaking scenery waiting to be discovered.


Additionally, Belfast’s proximity to other major cities in the region, such as Dublin and Derry/Londonderry, makes it a convenient base for exploring the entire island of Ireland. Whether you prefer to embark on a day trip to another city or venture further into the countryside, Belfast’s central location ensures that you have plenty of options to choose from.


For those interested in the history and culture of the region, Belfast’s location also provides easy access to significant historical sites, including the Titanic Belfast museum, which is dedicated to the ill-fated ocean liner that was built in the city.


Overall, Belfast’s prime location on the eastern coast of Northern Ireland makes it a fantastic starting point for exploring not only the city itself but also the wider region. Its convenient connections to other cities and its proximity to stunning landscapes and historical sites make it a must-visit destination for cruise ship passengers.


Facilities at Belfast Cruise Port

Belfast Cruise Port offers a range of facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience for cruise ship passengers. Whether you are embarking, disembarking, or simply spending a day exploring the city, the port is well-equipped to meet your needs.


Upon arrival at the cruise port, you will find welcoming staff who are ready to assist you with any inquiries or concerns. They can provide you with maps, brochures, and directions to help you navigate the city and plan your itinerary.


The port itself offers modern and well-maintained facilities, including spacious terminals with seating areas, restrooms, and accessible facilities for those with mobility challenges. The terminals also provide information boards displaying important updates, such as local events, weather conditions, and transportation options.


For cruise passengers who wish to stay connected during their visit, the port provides complimentary Wi-Fi access, allowing you to easily access emails, stay in touch with loved ones, or share your travel experiences on social media.


For those who are interested in shopping, there are a variety of duty-free shops at the port where you can find a wide range of products, from clothing and accessories to local souvenirs and gifts. These shops offer a convenient opportunity to purchase unique items and mementos to remember your visit to Belfast.


In addition to shopping, the port also features several dining options. Whether you are looking for a quick snack or a full meal, you will find a selection of cafes and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines to satisfy your culinary cravings. From traditional Irish fare to international dishes, there is something to suit every palate.


For those who prefer to explore the city or venture further afield, the port offers convenient transportation options. Taxis and private car services are readily available just outside the terminal, providing hassle-free transportation to your desired destinations. Additionally, the port’s close proximity to the city center makes it easy to reach popular attractions on foot or by public transportation.


In summary, Belfast Cruise Port provides a range of facilities and services designed to enhance your visit to the city. From welcoming staff and modern terminals to shopping, dining, and transportation options, the port strives to ensure that your time in Belfast is enjoyable and memorable.


Attractions near Belfast Cruise Port

Belfast is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, offering a plethora of attractions near the cruise port that are easily accessible and worth exploring. Here are some of the top attractions that you should consider visiting during your time in Belfast:

  • Titanic Belfast: Just a short distance from the cruise port, you will find Titanic Belfast, a world-class museum dedicated to the famous ocean liner that was built in Belfast. Explore the interactive exhibits, learn about the ship’s construction, and gain insight into the tragic events of its maiden voyage.
  • Belfast City Hall: Located in the heart of the city, Belfast City Hall is a stunning architectural gem that is worth a visit. Take a guided tour of the building to admire its grandeur, learn about Belfast’s history, and discover its political significance.
  • St. George’s Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of St. George’s Market, one of Belfast’s oldest attractions. Browse through the stalls offering a wide range of goods, including fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delicious local delicacies. It’s the perfect place to experience the local culture and pick up souvenirs.
  • Queen’s University Belfast: Take a stroll around the picturesque campus of Queen’s University Belfast, a prestigious institution known for its beautiful architecture and tranquil green spaces. Admire the historic buildings and enjoy the peaceful surroundings as you delve into the rich academic history of the city.
  • The Cathedral Quarter: This vibrant district is known for its lively pubs, art galleries, and street art. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets, admire the colorful murals, and soak up the lively atmosphere as you enjoy the city’s thriving arts and cultural scene.
  • Giant’s Causeway: Embark on a day trip to the iconic Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its unique geological formations. Marvel at the stunning hexagonal basalt columns as you explore the rugged coastline and take in the breathtaking natural beauty of this extraordinary landmark.

These are just a few of the many attractions near Belfast Cruise Port that await your discovery. From historical landmarks and cultural hotspots to natural wonders, there is something for every traveler’s interest and preference. Whether you have a few hours or a few days to explore, be sure to make the most of your time and immerse yourself in the wonders that Belfast has to offer.


Transportation Options

Belfast offers a variety of transportation options, making it easy for cruise passengers to explore the city and its surrounding areas. Here are some of the transportation options available to you during your visit:

  • Walking: Many of Belfast’s top attractions are within walking distance of the cruise port. The city center is compact and pedestrian-friendly, allowing you to take in the sights at your own pace. Walking is a great way to immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the charming streets and architecture.
  • Taxis and Private Car Services: Taxis and private car services are readily available at the cruise port, offering a convenient mode of transportation to explore both the city and the surrounding areas. Licensed taxis are metered, and rates are clearly displayed, providing you with transparency and peace of mind.
  • Public Transportation: Belfast has an extensive public transportation network, including buses and trains, which can take you to various parts of the city and beyond. Translink operates the public transport system, and you can purchase tickets in advance or directly from the driver or station. Buses are a popular option for getting around the city, with frequent services and routes that cover a wide area.
  • Bicycles: Belfast has a bike-sharing scheme called BIKES, which allows you to rent bicycles for short periods of time. This is a convenient and environmentally friendly way to explore the city. The bikes are available at various docking stations throughout Belfast, and you can easily rent and return them using a mobile app or by using the bike’s keypad.
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tours: If you prefer a guided tour of Belfast’s top attractions, a hop-on hop-off bus tour is a fantastic option. These tours offer a convenient way to see the city’s major landmarks while providing informative commentary about its history and culture. You have the flexibility to hop off at any stop that piques your interest and explore at your own pace before hopping back on the next bus.

With these transportation options at your disposal, getting around Belfast and its surrounding areas is a breeze. Whether you prefer the convenience of a taxi, the flexibility of public transportation, or the freedom of walking or biking, there is a transportation method that suits your preferences and allows you to make the most of your time in this wonderful city.


Local Dining Options

Belfast is a culinary hotspot with a wide array of dining options to satisfy every palate. From traditional Irish cuisine to international flavors, the city boasts a vibrant food scene that is sure to delight your taste buds. Here are some local dining options to consider during your visit:

  • Pub Food: When in Belfast, a visit to a traditional Irish pub is a must. Pubs not only offer a cozy and welcoming atmosphere but also serve up delicious pub grub. Indulge in hearty dishes such as Irish stew, fish and chips, or bangers and mash, paired with a pint of locally brewed beer or cider.
  • Seafood: With its proximity to the coast, Belfast is renowned for its fresh seafood offerings. Sample locally caught fish and shellfish, including traditional dishes like smoked salmon, oysters, and mussels. Many seafood restaurants in Belfast pride themselves on sourcing their ingredients locally and serving up dishes that highlight the flavors of the region.
  • Fine Dining: Belfast is home to a number of upscale restaurants, offering fine dining experiences that showcase the creativity and culinary expertise of local chefs. From contemporary Irish cuisine to international fusion dishes, these establishments use fresh, seasonal ingredients to create artful and delicious meals that are sure to impress.
  • Street Food: For a quick and casual dining experience, explore the city’s street food vendors and markets. Belfast has a thriving street food scene, with vendors serving up a variety of global cuisines from food trucks and stalls. Whether you’re craving a gourmet burger, mouthwatering tacos, or flavorful Asian street food, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings.
  • Vegan and Vegetarian Options: Belfast is also known for its diverse range of vegan and vegetarian dining options. From plant-based cafes to vegan-friendly restaurants, you can indulge in innovative and delicious dishes that cater to a variety of dietary preferences. These establishments offer creative plant-based versions of classic Irish dishes, as well as international cuisines with a vegan twist.

Additionally, Belfast has a vibrant coffee culture, with numerous coffee shops dotted around the city where you can relax and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or specialty tea. Some of these cafes also offer a selection of homemade pastries, cakes, and sandwiches to complement your hot beverage.


With its diverse culinary landscape, Belfast has something to satisfy all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re looking to sample traditional Irish dishes, explore global flavors, or indulge in gourmet cuisine, the city’s dining scene is sure to impress.


Shopping Opportunities

Belfast offers a fantastic array of shopping opportunities, from charming local markets to high-end boutiques and everything in between. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs, designer fashion, or artisanal crafts, Belfast has something to cater to all tastes and budgets. Here are some of the top shopping destinations to explore:

  • Belfast City Centre: The city center is a shopper’s paradise, home to a mix of well-known brands, department stores, and independent boutiques. Explore Victoria Square, a stunning shopping center with a wide range of stores offering fashion, beauty, and homeware. Stroll through Donegall Place and Royal Avenue, the main shopping streets, where you can find a variety of high street favorites and specialty shops.
  • St. George’s Market: Located near the city center, St. George’s Market is a must-visit for shoppers seeking unique, locally made products. This historic market offers a vibrant atmosphere with a wide range of stalls selling everything from fresh produce and local delicacies to handmade crafts, artwork, and jewelry. It’s the perfect place to pick up one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts.
  • CastleCourt Shopping Centre: Situated in the heart of Belfast, CastleCourt is the city’s largest shopping center. It boasts over 80 stores, including popular high street brands, as well as a food court and entertainment facilities. Here, you can enjoy a day of shopping, grab a bite to eat, and catch a movie, all under one roof.
  • Lisburn Road: If you’re looking for a more upmarket shopping experience, head to Lisburn Road, known for its boutique shops and designer labels. This tree-lined street is lined with luxury fashion boutiques, homeware stores, and stylish cafes. It’s the perfect place to indulge in some retail therapy and discover unique designer pieces.
  • Boutique and Independent Shops: Belfast is home to many independent shops and boutiques that offer a wealth of unique products. Explore the Cathedral Quarter, where you’ll find a cluster of independent stores selling everything from fashion and accessories to homeware and crafts. These shops are perfect for finding one-of-a-kind items and supporting local businesses.

Additionally, Belfast has a thriving arts and crafts scene, with many local artisans and designers showcasing their work in galleries and studios. You’ll find a range of handmade crafts, artwork, and jewelry that make for memorable and meaningful souvenirs of your visit to Belfast.


Whether you’re seeking a shopping spree in well-known stores or prefer to explore the markets and boutiques for unique finds, Belfast offers a diverse and exciting shopping experience. From fashion and accessories to local crafts and artwork, you’re sure to find something special to take home as a memento of your time in this vibrant city.


Nearby Excursions

While exploring Belfast is a rewarding experience, the city also serves as a gateway to some incredible nearby excursions. Here are a few day trips and nearby destinations that are easily accessible from Belfast:

  • Giant’s Causeway: A visit to the legendary Giant’s Causeway should be at the top of your list. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located along the scenic Antrim Coast, just a short drive from Belfast. Marvel at the unique and mesmerizing hexagonal basalt columns that form this natural wonder, and take in the breathtaking coastal views as you explore the area.
  • Causeway Coastal Route: Embark on a road trip along the Causeway Coastal Route, considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. This breathtaking route stretches from Belfast to Londonderry, showcasing stunning landscapes, dramatic cliffs, picturesque villages, and historic castles along the way.
  • Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: Experience an adrenaline rush as you cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This suspension bridge connects the mainland to the tiny Carrick-a-Rede Island, offering stunning views of the coastline and the chance to spot seabirds and marine life.
  • The Mourne Mountains: For nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, a trip to the majestic Mourne Mountains is a must. Just a short drive from Belfast, these stunning mountains provide ample opportunities for hiking, climbing, and taking in the breathtaking scenery. Marvel at the granite peaks, tranquil lakes, and cascading waterfalls as you explore this stunning natural wonder.
  • Ballycastle and Rathlin Island: Take a short ferry ride from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island, a secluded and rugged island paradise. Explore the island’s nature reserves, spot puffins and seals along the cliffs, and visit the iconic Rathlin West Light Seabird Centre for panoramic views of the surrounding coastline.

These are just a few examples of the nearby excursions that await you when visiting Belfast. Whether you’re seeking natural wonders, dramatic coastlines, or cultural experiences, Northern Ireland offers a diverse range of day trips that will leave you in awe of its beauty and history.


It’s important to note that transportation options, such as guided tours, are available for these excursions if you prefer a hassle-free experience. Additionally, local tour operators can provide insights and local knowledge to make the most of your time exploring these remarkable destinations.


So, if you’re looking to venture beyond Belfast and uncover the captivating beauty of Northern Ireland, these nearby excursions provide the perfect opportunity to do so.


Helpful Tips for Cruise Passengers

As a cruise passenger visiting Belfast, there are some helpful tips and considerations that will enhance your experience and ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

  • Plan your itinerary in advance: With limited time in the city, it’s essential to plan your itinerary in advance. Research the top attractions, landmarks, and experiences that you don’t want to miss and prioritize them. This will help you make the most of your visit and ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by the choices once you arrive.
  • Check the cruise port schedule: The cruise port in Belfast can be quite busy, especially during peak season. Check the cruise port schedule ahead of time to see if there are other ships in port on the same day as your visit. This can help you anticipate any potential crowds and plan your activities accordingly.
  • Consider booking shore excursions: If you prefer a guided experience and want to maximize your time exploring Belfast, consider booking shore excursions offered by your cruise line. These pre-arranged tours often include transportation, knowledgeable guides, and priority access to attractions, allowing you to make the most of your visit without worrying about logistics.
  • Be aware of local currency: The currency used in Belfast is the British Pound (£). While credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, it’s always good to have some local currency on hand, especially if you plan to explore the local markets or smaller establishments that may not accept cards.
  • Stay connected: Consider investing in a local SIM card or an international data plan for your mobile phone. Having a reliable internet connection can be helpful for accessing maps, finding information on attractions, and staying in touch with fellow travelers or loved ones back home.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and traditions of Belfast to ensure you show respect for the local culture. This includes being mindful of dress codes when visiting religious sites, observing local etiquette, and being considerate of the customs and practices of the local community.
  • Be prepared for unpredictable weather: Northern Ireland is known for its changeable weather, so be prepared for all types of conditions. Pack layers, a waterproof jacket, and comfortable footwear, as you may encounter a mix of sunshine, rain, and cool temperatures throughout the day.
  • Leave plenty of time to return to the ship: It’s essential to allow ample time to return to the cruise ship before it departs. Take into account any potential traffic, the distance from your location to the port, and any delays that may occur. It’s better to be early and have some extra time than to rush and risk missing the ship.

By keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can ensure a memorable and stress-free visit to Belfast during your cruise. Whether it’s making the most of your time, being prepared for local customs, or staying connected, these tips will help you navigate the city and make the most of your visit.



Belfast, Northern Ireland’s vibrant and historic capital, offers a wealth of attractions, experiences, and cultural treasures for cruise ship passengers. From its convenient location to the variety of facilities at Belfast Cruise Port, visitors are greeted with a warm welcome and provided with everything they need for a memorable stay.


Exploring Belfast is a journey through time and culture, with fascinating landmarks such as Titanic Belfast, Belfast City Hall, and the Cathedral Quarter waiting to be discovered. Beyond the city, nearby excursions to the iconic Giant’s Causeway, charming coastal villages, and majestic mountains present opportunities for adventure and natural beauty.


Belfast’s dining scene offers something for everyone, whether you’re craving traditional Irish pub fare, fresh seafood, gourmet cuisine, or inventive vegetarian and vegan options. The city’s shopping opportunities are equally enticing, with a blend of high street brands, local markets, and independent boutiques offering unique treasures and local crafts.


Transportation options in Belfast are diverse, with walking, taxis, public transportation, and bike rentals providing convenient ways to explore the city and its surroundings. It’s worth venturing out on day trips to discover the stunning landscapes and natural wonders that Northern Ireland has to offer.


As you sail away from Belfast, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind: plan your itinerary, check the cruise port schedule, consider shore excursions, be aware of local currency, stay connected, respect local customs, and allow enough time to return to the ship.


In conclusion, Belfast is a destination that embodies the perfect harmony of history, culture, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re visiting for a day or longer, the city and its surroundings offer a captivating and enriching experience that will leave a lasting impression. Discover the wonders of Belfast and immerse yourself in the charms of Northern Ireland for an unforgettable cruise adventure.