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Picturesque History


Ports and Excursions of Northern Europe

Belfast, Ireland-port

Belfast lies snuggled into the rugged coast of Northern Ireland where the River Lagan flows to the sea. This Northern Ireland capital saw its earliest settlement in the early Middle Ages. At that time, a substantial stone fortress punctuated the horizon. Today, world travelers are eager to view her physical beauty and discover her renewed tranquility. Residents enjoy performances at the Grand Opera House, shop at trendy stores, and visit pubs lining The Golden Mile.

View Cruises that visit this port

Below is a list of those shore excursions previously offered in this port. For information on which shore excursions will be offered on a particular cruise, please reference the specific itinerary of that cruise.

Free Excursions

Regent Choice Excursions

  • Light Activity /Walking Light Activity /Walking
  • Seated Tour Seated Tour
  • Moderate Activity/Walking Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Most Active or Strenuous Most Active or Strenuous
  • Minimal Activity Required Minimal Activity Required
  • Regent Choice Regent Choice
  • Gourmet Explorer Gourmet Explorer
  • Meal Meal
  • Evening Tour Evening Tour
  • Ards Peninsula & Grey Abbey
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Belfast, Past, Present and Future
    Light Activity /WalkingMinimal Activity Required
  • Executive Collection Full Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Full Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Car
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Minibus
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Executive Collection Half Day Van
    Seated TourRegent Choice
  • Mount Stewart House and Gardens
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • Panoramic Belfast
    Seated TourMinimal Activity Required
  • Spectacular Giants' Causeway
    Moderate Activity/WalkingRegent Choice
  • The Famous Pubs of Belfast
    Moderate Activity/Walking
  • The Titanic Trail
    Most Active or StrenuousMeal

Ards Peninsula & Grey Abbey

Light Activity /Walking Minimal Activity Required

Duration: 4 hours

Tour Code: BFS-002

Enjoy the beauty of the Ard's Peninsula on this tour that takes you off the beaten-track to discover some of the breath-taking landscapes that are found outside of Belfast.

The coastal road along the southern shore of Belfast Lough plays hide and seek with the sea, like the railway that runs alongside it, it darts in and out of the hills giving glimpses of sandy beaches, yacht clubs and busy harbors. Away from the coast are the beginnings of the rounded drumlin hills of the Ards Peninsula, unexpectedly rural so near to Belfast.

The Ards Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty, unspoiled, free of crowds, and the perfect setting for a magical coastal drive. Here, you will find a rural way of life and a genuine Irish welcome combined with a haunting landscape, history and tranquility.

Departing from Belfast you will first make your way to Stormont Castle, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. A symbol of progress to Northern Ireland's troubled past, the power sharing executive with responsibility for Northern affairs rules from this impressive building. After a brief photo stop, you will drive to Grey Abbey, site of a Cistercian Abbey from which the village takes its name. A stop will be made at the abbey for an inside visit and tour of the ruins, which date back to 1193.

From Grey Abbey, you will travel the peninsula to Ballywalter. Formally a fishing village, Ballywalter is now typical of the tranquil lifestyle enjoyed by the inhabitants of this area where local fishermen still lay pots or creels for lobsters and crabs during the summer months.

Turning north, you'll follow the coastal route through the town of Millisle to Donaghadee. Donaghadee boasts a long seagoing history; therefore, it is not surprising that it still maintains a special relationship with the sea, proving very popular with water enthusiasts, anglers and those who simply like to spend time at the coast. From Donaghadee, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy spectacular views across the Irish Sea, when on a clear day, you can see all the way to Scotland. In the Harbor is Donaghadee's impressive lighthouse, which was built in 1836 and was the first lighthouse in Ireland to be lit by electricity. A stop will be made here to visit a local hostelry for Irish Coffee and afterwards, some free time is allowed for you to independently explore this pretty little hamlet before it's time to re-join your coach and travel back to the pier.

Please note: This tour is mostly panoramic with optional walking at the stops. The guided tour of the ruins at Grey Abbey includes up to 45-minutes of walking and covers rough and uneven natural surfaces. Arrangements can be made with the guide to not participate in this guided portion of the tour. This tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.