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Further Information on Ferry Services and Operator Information for Northern Ireland
Larne - Cairnryan - P&O offer up to 8 departures on week days and up to 6 departures on weekends between Cairnryan and Larne. Crossing time is around one hour and 45 minutes depending on conditions.
Larne - Troon - P&O Currently only offer the route between Larne and Troon during the Summer Months. During this period 2 crossings are available per day, again with an average crossing time of one hour and 45 minutes.
P&O Irish Sea was formed in 1998 following the merger of the Cairnryan based services of P&O European Ferries (Felixstowe Ltd.) and Pandoro Ltd, who operated routes between England, Scotland and France to Ireland. The following year (1999), the new P&O Irish Sea announced its intentions to purchase a purpose built Ro-Pax (roll-on, roll-off, vehicle/passenger) from Mitsubishi of Japan for the Liverpool to Dublin route. This would see the transfer of the European Leader to the Fleetwood route.
In 2004 P&O closed its Fleetwood - Larne services with a sale of all interests to the Swedish Stena Line group. Information on Stena Line can be found below.
For further information on P&O Click Here
Stena Line Northern Ireland Ferry Routes
Stranraer - Belfast - Stena Line offer a Standard ferry crossing and High Speed service using vessels Superferry and Stena HSS repectively. Journey time is about 2 hours on the high speed sevice and around 3 Hours 20 minutes on the standard ferry.
Fleetwood - Larne - Travel from the port of Fleetwood direct to Larne in Northern Ireland located just 22 miles from Belfast. Stena Line offers 4 crossings a day with a crossing time of 8 hours.
Stena Line was founded in, and is still operated from, Gothenburg, Sweden by Sten A. Olsson when he acquired Skagenlinjen between Gothenburg, Sweden and Fredrikshavn, Denmark in 1962.
Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry operators, with ferry services serving Northern Ireland and many other European countries. Stena Line doubled in size in 1990 with the acquisition of Sealink British Ferries from Sea Containers Ltd. This first became Sealink Stena Line, then Stena Sealink Line and finally Stena Line (UK), which now operates all of Stena's ferry services between Great Britain and Ireland. Stena Line has moved its Belfast Terminal from Albert Quay to the new VT4 during May 2008. This has reduced the length of the crossing to Stranraer by 10 minutes.
For more information on Stena Line Click Here
Norfolkline Northern Ireland Routes
Liverpool - Belfast - Norfolkline offer a popular ferry service between Liverpool Birkenhead and Belfast onboard 2 vessels, the Lagan Viking and the Mersey Viking. Crossing time takes around 8 hours with 13 Crossings a week and both day and night sailings available in both directions.
Over two million people travel with Norfolkline Ferries every year, with a focus on offering low prices, quality ferries, and convenient schedules. Norfolkline is one of the most popular choices for ferries to France and Ireland.
For more information on Norfolkline Click Here
Steam Packet Northern Ireland Routes
Belfast - Douglas - Isle of Man Steam Packet ferries offer a route between Belfast and Douglas taking under 3 hours. All crossings are onboard one of Steam Packet's top quality vessels. The crossing time is approximately 2h 45m and there are 3 crossings every week.
Isle of Man Steam Packet Ferries provide freight, passenger and vehicle services between the port of Douglas and four ports in England, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
For more information on the Steam Packet Company Click Here
Northern Ireland General Information, Culture & Tourism
With its improved international reputation, Northern Ireland has recently witnessed rising numbers of tourists who come to appreciate the country's unique heritage. Attractions include cultural festivals, musical and artistic traditions, countryside and geographical sites of interest, pubs, welcoming hospitality and sports (especially golf and fishing). Since 1987 pubs have been allowed to open on Sundays, despite some limited vocal opposition. Northern Ireland is a country which is part of the United Kingdom and which is situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland. It shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west.
Weather in Northern Ireland
The whole of Northern Ireland has a temperate maritime climate, rather wetter in the west than the east, although cloud cover is persistent across the region. The weather is unpredictable at all times of the year, and although the seasons are distinct, they are considerably less pronounced than in interior Europe or the eastern seaboard of North America. Average daytime maximums in Belfast are 6.5 °C (43.7 °F) in January and 17.5 °C (63.5 °F) in July. The damp climate and extensive deforestation in the 16th and 17th centuries resulted in much of the region being covered in rich green grassland.
Popular Northern Ireland Locations - Countys and Cities
Northern Ireland consists of six historic counties: County Antrim, County Armagh, County Down, County Fermanagh, County Londonderry, County Tyrone.
These counties are no longer used for local government purposes; instead there are twenty-six districts of Northern Ireland which have different geographical extents, even in the case of those named after the counties from which they derive their name. Fermanagh District Council most closely follows the borders of the county from which it takes its name. Coleraine Borough Council, on the other hand, derives its name from the town of Coleraine in County Londonderry.
Although counties are no longer used for governmental purpose, they remain a popular means of describing where places are. They are officially used while applying for an Irish passport, which requires the applicant to state his or her 'county of birth' - which then appears in both Irish and English on the passport's information page, as opposed to the town or city of birth on the United Kingdom passport. The Gaelic Athletic Association still uses the counties as its primary means of organisation and fields representative teams of each GAA county.
The county boundaries still appear on Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland Maps and the Phillips Street Atlases, among others. With their decline in official use, there is often confusion surrounding towns and cities which lie near county boundaries, such as Belfast and Lisburn, which are split between counties Down and Antrim (the majorities of both cities, however, are in Antrim)
There are 5 major settlements with city status in Northern Ireland: Armagh, Belfast, Derry, Lisburn and Newry.
Economy of Northern Ireland
The Northern Ireland economy is the smallest of the four economies making up the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland has traditionally had an industrial economy, most notably in shipbuilding, rope manufacture and textiles, but most heavy industry has since been replaced by services, primarily the public sector. Tourism also plays a big role in the local economy. More recently the economy has benefited from major investment by many large multi-national corporations into high tech industry. These large organisations are attracted by government subsidies and the skilled workforce in Northern Ireland. Despite the presence of many multi-national corporations, the largest employer in the country is the Government.