Derry Foyle Port welcomes the start of cruise season

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Cruise season is here with the first of three cruise ships docking at Foyle port, bringing explorers to the North West and money to local businesses.

Over ten thousand passengers and crew are expected to visit the stunning North West of Ireland from now until September.

The ultra-luxury Seabourn Ovation anchored in Lough Foyle after spending several months in the Caribbean. With a focus on visiting unique ports with must-see cities and hidden gems, she is visiting the destination as part of a 21-day sailing from Lisbon to Hamburg via Scandinavia.

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Foyle Port’s Harbour Master and Operations Director Bill McCann said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Seabourn Ovation to Lough Foyle once again following her maiden visit last May. We are seeing return calls from 92% of the cruise lines this year - we believe this speaks volumes to the positive experience received on previous visits and is a real testament to the destination.”

Seabourn Ovation cruise ship arriving in Lough Foyle.Seabourn Ovation cruise ship arriving in Lough Foyle.
Seabourn Ovation cruise ship arriving in Lough Foyle.

Captain McCann added: “2023 was a record year for the port as we welcomed over 16,000 guests and crew with an estimated direct spend of over €1 million into the local economy benefiting local restaurants, shops, tourism providers, entertainment and transport companies. We eagerly anticipate further growth allowing for more international tourists to experience first-hand what a beautiful part of the world this is.”

Cruise guests have the opportunity to explore areas of outstanding natural beauty and a wealth of incredible tourism products across four counties: Derry, Donegal, Antrim and Tyrone. With a focus on sustainable tourism, bespoke excursions transport guests to Glenshane Country Farm, Mussenden Temple and Downhill, the Giant’s Causeway, Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the historic Walls of Derry, Glenveagh National Park and the Inishowen Peninsula.

Niamh McCarthy, Managing Director of Excursions Ireland said: “The variety of tours we offer from this region is second to none and the year on year feedback is phenomenal.”

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The next cruise ship is due in just two days’ time as Spirit of Adventure, operated by Saga, makes an inaugural call on Thursday May16 then on Sunday, May 19 one of the most eco-friendly ships in the world, World Explorer chartered by Rivages du Monde, will make a return visit to Lisahally following her stint in Antarctica.

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