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Cruising Europe 2019: A First Look at Belfast, Northern Ireland

Jonathan Frontado

by , Public Relations Director, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney and Disney Vacation Club

Next summer, we’re taking Disney Cruise Line guests to seven new ports of call in Europe, adding even more stunning destinations to our expansive lineup for the European season! One of those new stops is Belfast, the bustling capital of Northern Ireland, which the Disney Magic will call on for the first time ever during a special seven-night British Isles cruise.

The city of Belfast blends the best of art, music and entertainment with gorgeous vistas and fascinating historical sites. The area is home to some truly remarkable attractions, including centuries-old castles, historical caves and woodlands, cliffside ruins and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Here’s a first look at some of the attractions and activities awaiting Disney Cruise Line guests in Belfast next year:

Explore Natural Wonders
From Belfast, guests can explore the world-renowned Giant’s Causeway — a mysterious, 60-million-year-old geological formation on the Northeast coast of County Antrim, formed by intense volcanic activity and steeped in ancient myths and legends. This headland of basalt columns is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most impressive natural wonders in the United Kingdom.

Guests can also journey along one of the most scenic coastlines in Britain and Ireland, the Antrim Coast, where they will discover breathtaking landscapes, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the dramatic cliffside ruins of the medieval Dunluce Castle. Others may choose to stroll along the gardens and woodlands near Cave Hill—Belfast’s most famous landmark—and visit the historic Belfast Castle.

Step Back in Time
There is a host of historical towns and landmarks near Belfast for guests to discover, like the town of Downpatrick, where St. Patrick began the conversion of Ireland and built his first church, and Carrickfergus Castle, considered the first real Irish castle.

At the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, guests can even step back in time and experience what daily life on a farm would have been like centuries ago. Located on 170 acres of rolling countryside overlooking Belfast Lough, the museum offers interactive opportunities to learn how to churn butter and shear sheep, and chances to experience the sensation of travel on steam locomotives, horse-drawn carriages and vintage cars.

Illuminated Belfast City Hall Against Sky

Indulge in the Culture
Belfast’s impressive city center still boasts much of its former Victorian grandeur. Travelers love to browse the area’s many delightful shops — some that specialize in beautiful handmade linens, one of Belfast’s most famous products — and savor local treats at St. George’s Market, which was built in the 1890s. And of course, guests will want to stop by a traditional pub for delicious food, pints, whiskey and entertainment.

Guests can also check out the vibrant street art in the culturally rich Cathedral Quarter, an exciting area of town teeming with activity in its fine restaurants and beer gardens. With St. Anne’s Cathedral at its heart, the quarter’s charming cobbled streets are home to some of Belfast’s oldest buildings.

Discover More Family Fun
Children will delight in a visit to Pickie Funpark—one of Northern Ireland’s most popular attractions—which includes an 18-hole miniature golf course, a children’s train, playground, electric car track and more. And everyone in the family will enjoy a visit to the Botanic Gardens, established in 1828 and boasting two notable period buildings that house a splendid collection of tropical plants and trees. The gardens also feature a children’s playground, a bowling green and a beautiful rose garden.

The Disney Magic calls on Belfast during a seven-night British Isles cruise departing from Dover, England, on Sept. 8, 2019.

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