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Foyle Port Welcomes Lough Foyle’s Biggest Ever Ship

Updated: Oct 19, 2023


The Norwegian Star elegantly sailed into Lough Foyle this morning at 7am and anchored just off Greencastle. At 91,740 gross tonnage and 294m she is the biggest ever ship to anchor in the Lough. The arrival of the impressive ship marks the last of the 2023 cruise season for Foyle Port.


Her 3,200 guests and crew are on a 10-day voyage around Ireland from Southampton calling at Glengarriff, Cork, Waterford, Dún Laoghaire, Belfast, Killybegs and Greencastle.

The Port provides a starting point for exploring some of Ireland’s and Northern Ireland’s most magnificent areas of outstanding natural beauty and access to the historic city of Derry-Londonderry. Following a short tender ride to shore, guests enjoyed excursions to the Ulster American Folk Park, Giant’s Causeway & Dunluce Castle, Inishowen Peninsula & Doagh Famine Village, Glenveagh National Park and tours of Derry. Independent guests enjoyed exploring the local area of Greencastle.


To mark the ship’s debut call a traditional plaque exchange took place onboard between the ship’s Staff Captain Divorce Pulitika and General Manager Tony Winkler and representatives from Foyle Port, Fáilte Ireland and the Mayor’s Office.


Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Patricia Logue said she was delighted to welcome passengers from the Norwegian Star to the North West region. She added, “I hope the visit is a unique and enjoyable experience for the passengers and crew, many of whom will be visiting for the first time. It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase the entire region’s natural unspoiled beauty and hope that the passengers will return home with fond memories of their visit with the hopes of returning again. “


From left to right: James Logue, Mayor’s Consort; Louise Denvir, Cruise Marketing Executive, Foyle Port; Cllr Patricia Logue, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council; Divorce Pulitika, Staff Captain, Norwegian Cruise Lines; Bill McCann, Harbour Master and Operations Director, Foyle Port; Charlene Boyle, Wild Atlantic Way Officer, Failte Ireland; Tony Winkler, General Manager, Norwegian Cruise Lines; Glenda Abbott, Group/Events Co-ordinator, Norwegian Cruise Lines.


A Record Year for Foyle Port


Foyle Port has had its record year for cruise operations welcoming 18 ships and over 16,000 passengers and crew. The majority of the passengers visiting the region were from the United States (51%), followed by the United Kingdom (20%), France (14%), Canada (5%) and Germany (5%).


Harbour Master and Operations Director of Foyle Port, Bill McCann said, “We are thrilled to have welcomed some of the most prestigious cruise lines in the world including Azamara Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line today.”


“This year, the port received maiden calls from eight ships, including new build, Explora I from MSC Group’s new luxury cruise brand, Explora Journeys and the newly refurbished Renaissance from new French cruise line, Compagnie Française de Croisières; both ships made a historic first-time call to the island of Ireland with Foyle Port” added McCann.


The Port in Derry-Londonderry provides an unrivalled offering allowing access into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland with just one visit. With dramatic coastlines, remote countryside, sandy beaches coupled with a historic city boasting award-winning museums and a vibrant culture there is so much to offer in one destination for cruise visitors. It’s easy to see why the region has seen a rise in demand and looks ahead to a positive 2024 cruise season.




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