Birdwatchers flock to Derry on cruise ship

Visitors disembarking from the cruise ship are greeted by Irish dancing.
Visitors disembarking from the cruise ship are greeted by Irish dancing.

The first cruise ship of 2017 has docked in Derry with a group of bird watching passengers setting up their tripods in the city and across the border in Inishowen at the weekend.

The Noble Caledonia’s Ocean Nova cruise ship sailed into Derry at the weekend as part of an exploration of seabird islands of Britain and Ireland.

The trip included a visit to the Inch Wildfowl Reserve as well as the 17th Walls and the Giant’s Causeway.

This year will see over 4,000 passengers and crew from leading lines including Seabourne, Princess and Silverseas bound for the north west.

Aoife McHale, Business & Leisure Tourism Officer at Visit Derry commented: “Visit Derry and Foyle Port, in partnership with Derry City & Strabane District Council and the Loughs Agency promote the city as a must visit cruise destination and the continued development of our cultural tourism offering allows us to create a wide range of new programme itineraries to offer an authentic and memorable experience for passengers.

“Since the start of the year we have attended the Seatrade Cruise Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale and the Cruise Europe annual conference in Bremerhaven to meet with the industry’s major cruise lines and update them on the regions berthing options and developments.

“The city’s rich heritage, fascinating history and warm welcome combined with our idyllic location linking Co. Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way with the Causeway Coastal Route is of major interest to the operators and has already resulted in confirmed business for 2018 and 2019.”