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Warrenpoint stop for Saga Pearl II in July

The Saga Pearl II, the cruise ship that drew a crowd of thousands to Warrenpoint in summer 2014, will return to the town in July.

The 450-passenger liner will stop off in the port on July 13 as part of its 13-day cruise around Britain, which deviates only for day stops in Warrenpoint and St Helier, Jersey.

Billed as ‘Captain Dunlop’s Homecoming Cruise’, and ‘a cruise with a distinct twist’, the cruise has added three new ports of call including the captain’s hometown of Southwold – ‘a new and delightfully dainty port of call for Saga cruises!’ – and prices on the Saga website begin at £2,614 per person. 

Describing Warrenpoint, the website states it is ‘famous for Narrow Water Castle’, and that it was ‘only a small fishing village until the mid-19th century, when a tidal dock was created to provide access for larger ships’.

“The town developed into a popular Victorian summer resort with a promenade, bandstand and swimming baths,” it adds. “A railway station was opened in 1849, connecting with a ferry service to the village of Omeath in County Louth. The railway closed in 1965 but ferries still operate in the summer months.”

Under the heading ‘Climate’, the website advises potential passengers that Warrenpoint has ‘a temperate maritime climate with a risk of rain at any time of the year’, and suggests Armagh and its ancient Cathedral, Belfast and the Titanic, Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula, and the Mountains of Mourne as ‘shore excursions you may be able to enjoy’.

The Saga Pearl II visited Warrenpoint for the first time on July 20, 2014, and thousands of curious spectators descended on the town to see it arrive and depart, with the cruise ship’s visit billed as ‘a major breakthrough in re-establishing Warrenpoint as a tourist destination’. 

Captain Westley Dunlop was greeted on arrival by the Mayor of Newry and Mourne Dire Hughes and members of Warrenpoint Harbour Authority, and The Newpoint Players provided free street entertainment.

22nd January 2016

Newry Reporter