Despite previous years of political turmoil, Northern Island is slowly establishing itself as a worthwhile destination for tourists. Even Belfast, with the superb Belfast Castle which overlooks the Lough, has many visitor attractions with its long history and exciting atmosphere. Belfast is also well positioned such that other parts of Northern Ireland are easily accessible from here.
Belfast port is an important commercial hub, not just for Northern Ireland but for the whole of Ireland. Up to 20,000 ships use this port each and every year which includes ferries that carry two million passengers per year and nearly half a million of their vehicles. There are ferry routes out of this port to several European countries.
If you need to travel to Troon, there is a Seacat service about three times every day. The journey takes about 2 hours, 30 minutes. Crossings to Liverpool are provided by Norse Irish Ferries. These are quite long journeys but can be taken at night. Both day and night Ferries run three times each week. Stranraer in Scotland is also connected to Belfast with ferries provided by Stena Lines; up to eight crossings per day.
The second most important port of Northern Ireland is the Port of Larne. You could be forgiven for thinking that you had arrived at an airport, given the modern and generous facilities provided at this port. You can travel to Fleetwood in England from here by using P&O Sea Ferries. P&O also run services to two ports in Scotland: Troon and Cairnryan. The Larne-Fleetwood route takes about eight hours and departs on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hot meals are included in the general ticket price. The Larne-Carinryan crossing is operated up to nine occasions daily during the summer. The journey duration will be under two hours.