Explora Journeys’ Explora I arrived at Foyle Port on its first-ever visit to the island of Ireland.
The ship visit Lough Foyle on August 31 as part of its inaugural UK and Ireland voyage.
To mark the occasion, representatives from the National Tourism Development Authority – Fáilte Ireland, Donegal County Council, Go Visit Inishowen, Visit Derry, Hamilton Shipping and Foyle Port exchanged plaques with the ship’s Captain Serena Melani.
Mayor of Donegal County Council, Cllr. Martin Harley said: “I am delighted to welcome this luxury cruise ship Explora I to Donegal today on its inaugural visit. Donegal and the North West region provide a unique experience for the passengers and crew, many of whom are visiting Ireland for the first time. Showcasing Donegal and the North West region’s natural, unspoiled beauty will pay dividends in the future and we look forward to many of today’s visitors returning to our region in the years ahead.”
”I would like to congratulate everyone involved on making this visit of Explora I such a great success and hope it will be the first of many,” added Harley.
Foyle Port’s Harbour Master, Captain Bill McCann said: “It is an absolute honor to welcome the guests and crew of this extraordinary ship on her first visit to the island.
“We believe the North West is a cruise destination with an unrivaled offering – guests can visit incredible locations of natural outstanding beauty including the Inishowen Peninsula, UNESCO World Heritage site the Giant’s Causeway, Glenveagh National Park and Ireland’s only intact Walled City, Derry-Londonderry.
“We are thrilled cruise visits to the region doubled in 2023; of 17 ships, seven of these have been inaugural calls, showing the growth of cruise tourism to the North West.”