Carlingford Lough has the chance to establish itself as a major cruise destination next July when hundreds of well heeled Saga passengers dock in Warrenpoint on their return to Southampton from Iceland. It has been confirmed that around 500 passengers will disembark from either the luxurious Saga Sapphire or Saga Pearl II on Sunday July 20 2014. It is hoped that should that the visit prove successful, local agents Samuel Stewart & Co and Warrenpoint Harbour Authority will be able to entice further Saga cruises to south Down from 2015 onwards. To this end Newry and Mourne District Council have committed some £8K in funding to ensure that the warmest possible welcome is offered to visitors. Speaking to the Reporter a Saga spokesman said that passengers, the majority of whom will be British, will be keen to explore everything the region has to offer. “Saga cruises aren’t comparable to anything else,” he said. “All of our passengers are aged 50 or over and they love visiting new places. That is why we go to ports that are off the beaten track as they are so well travelled. They will definitely get off the ship to explore. We will have a number of excursions planned and our passengers will be keen to learn about the area.” Full details of the cruise are expected to be confirmed on April 5 – including details of some of the shore excursions that will be offered to passengers. Among the likely destinations are the Mournes and Silent Valley in addition to elements of our built heritage including the Ross Monument and Narrow Water Keep. In addition to these tours it is understood that visitors will also have time to explore Warrenpoint – something that is expected to provide a major boost to the local economy.
13th March 2013