A Guide to Cruising the Irish Coast: Three Stunning Cities

A Guide to Cruising the Irish Coast: Three Stunning Cities

The island of Ireland is a jewel in the Atlantic. Literally nicknamed the ‘Emerald Isle’, Ireland embodies culture, history, and stunning geography across two countries, and in one glorious package. Ireland’s imposing landscapes must be seen to be believed, and its rural countryside is stippled with historic battlements and castles.

Giant's Causeway

Of course, given that it is surrounded by sea, much of Ireland’s beauty and appeal is best observed along its shores – and, indeed, one of the best ways to make the most of the Emerald Isle is via cruise. UK travellers can take advantage of regular cruises from Southampton to Ireland’s east coast that provide an opportunity to enjoy the best of the island in one trip.

There are three stand-out locations on the eastern coast: the cities of Belfast, Cork and Dublin. Here’s why they are likely to be the central stars of your trip as part of your exploration of Ireland’s coastal beauty.

Belfast

Belfast is one of the northern-most port cities and the capital of Northern Ireland. It is a melting-pot of culture and a place with unique historical significance – especially with regard to maritime history. One of its biggest maritime claims to fame is being the location at which the RMS Titanic was conceived, built and initially launched; the Titanic Belfast museum is a great spot for learning more.

Belfast also has some literary pedigree, being the birthplace of world-renowned fantasy author C. S. Lewis – best known for his Chronicles of Narnia series which are now also a major movie franchise. The C. S. Lewis Square in Belfast is a monument to his achievement and connections with the city.

Quite apart from its city centre delights, Belfast is a stone’s throw from one of the most recognisable formations on the Irish coastline: the Giant’s Causeway. The geological phenomenon features tall hexagonal columns, resembling paving stones cutting an imposing outline in the coast. Local legend has it that this mystical pathway was created by a giant named Finn McCool to allow him to fight rival Scottish giant Bennandonnar.

Dublin - The Temple Bar

Dublin

Dublin is Ireland’s largest city by far, and the capital of the Republic of Ireland. This city continues the cultural history and tradition of the country as a whole, being the birthplace of literary heavyweights Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde, and the resting place of previous poet laureate Seamus Heaney.

Dublin is also best-known for its foundational role in one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks – a little Irish stout called Guinness. There are pubs galore in Dublin, all of which serve the best available pints of the ‘black stuff’ as well as some incredible seasonal food. Whisky is also a popular tipple here, and so-inclined tourists will enjoy seeing how Jameson Irish Whisky is made on a tour of the Dublin distillery.

Even if you steer clear of alcohol, visiting Dublin’s pubs is a must. The welcoming atmosphere is utterly contagious, and there are often live bands playing traditional Irish melodies in the corner of the bar.

English market, Cork

Cork

Lastly, Cork is a port city nestled in the southern horn of the east coast. It is also the second-largest city in Ireland, and widely considered to be the island’s food capital due to the sheer variety of produce available and the county’s role in spearheading traditional Irish cuisine. Restaurants revelling in regional cuisine sit alongside laidback pubs serving hearty local favourites, while the unmissable English Market offers everything from cheese to chocolate and is known as one of the best food markets in Europe.

Cork is a creative city through and through, home to breakthroughs in seasonal culinary art and contemporary culture alike. It is a key destination for music, film, theatre and beyond with its own international film festival that attracts people from around the world each year. What better way to end your coastal trip?

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


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