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27th August, 2014

Belfast, Northern Ireland

After an overnight sail from Killybegs, MV Saga Sapphire docked at Stormont Wharf in Belfast at 8.00am this morning. Not only has the city undergone some amazing rejuvenation but Belfast is also an ideal base for exploring the surrounding coastal scenery. With this in mind, many of our passenger had booked to go on an organised tour today. If I were a passenger, I would have had a tough decision choosing which tour to go on! The two most popular tours were ‘Antrim’s Coast and Giant’s Causeway’ and ‘Belfast: The Birth of Titanic’.

The Giant’s Causeway excursion was a full day tour and encompassed some of Northern Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. Passengers visited Dunluce Castle dating back to 13th century. The next stop was the Giant’s Causeway allowing passengers plenty of time to marvel at the irregular basalt columns which are thought to be a result of volcanic activity, but have also been the subject of many intriguing legends.

The Titanic Tour began with a panoramic drive through the city to see some of the fine Victorian buildings built with 19th century industrial wealth. However the highlight of the tour was the visit to Titanic Belfast which opened in 2012 and is a dramatic new building which tells the story of the ill-fated Belfast-built liner.

For those passengers who fancied adventuring off the main tourist route, there were several other tours on offer and today I accompanied passengers on the trip to the National Trust Property of Mount Stewart. The weather was fantastic and I spent the afternoon exploring the grand 19th century house and garden. The House is currently undergoing some restoration and as I personally prefer the outdoors, I spent time in the garden admiring the workmanship and enjoying the sunshine.

For those passengers, who were not on tour we organised a shuttle bus which took passengers to Donegall Square in the city centre where they could explore the city independently.

As soon as the tours had returned back to the ship we set sail for our next port of call. The next few days will be busy with quite a few ports in a row. Tomorrow we will be docked in Liverpool.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.