Spirit of Discovery blog
Having just sailed 1400 nautical miles from Qaqortoq, and having become re-acquainted with nights that are actually dark, we made a call to Belfast. The weather on arrival was overcast but calm.
Northern Ireland’s capital city had much to offer for our guests, with the most popular attraction being the RMS Titanic exhibition, near the Harland and Wolff shipyard where the Ocean Liner was built.
This proud old name in shipbuilding began in 1861 and is still operational today, although the business is much changed. The shipyard was made famous building the Ocean Liners of the White Star Line in the early 20th century, and at its peak in the 1930s employed 35,000 workers. As UK shipbuilding declined in the 1970s, losing out to competition from the far east, this number dwindled to 3,000 and the business had to look into restructuring. Nowadays it focuses on ship repairs and offshore structures. The two H & W gantry cranes, named Samson and Goliath, still dominate the port’s skyline, and are well-loved landmarks as well as monuments to the grand old trade that once flourished here.
Matthew English, Deck Cadet
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