Tall Ships Belfast 2015 has been hailed an outstanding success following its four day visit to the city.
The memory making extravaganza took place from Thursday to yesterday (Sunday) and initial feedback is that the projected half-a-million visitors to the Titanic Quarter and Pollock Dock site was achieved across the four days.
And many more thousands also lined the shores of Belfast Lough and the coastline to view the magnificent vessels make their way to the Causeway coast for the race start.
Belfast Lord Mayor Arder Carson paid tribute to agencies across the city who contributed to the event’s success.
“This has been a shining example of multi-agency excellence – all partners working together for the good of our city,” he said.
“The buzz created in Belfast was amazing. This was a free event and locals as well as visitors enjoyed all that was on offer. The event organisation was superb and we look to be well on target to reaping the economic windfall of around £10 million that we had hoped for.
“Yet again, Belfast has been showcased on an international stage and proved it punches well above its weight when it comes to staging world class events,” he added.
The 46 stunning Tall Ships berthed in Belfast included some from as far away as Brazil and Ecuador as well as many from Scandanavia and other international ports.
Brazilian vessel, The Cisne Branco, welcomed 32,000 visitors on board during its Belfast stay – the highest number it has recorded anywhere in the world.
Crews highlighted Belfast as one of the most welcoming host ports ever and Sail Training International indicated they would be keen to return to Belfast for a fourth time in the years ahead.
All of the Tall Ships are now sailing across the North Sea on their way to Alesund in Norway.
Please go to www.tallshipsbelfast.com to view footage taken throughout the Tall Ships Lidl Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.