Spend a few hours discovering Belfast on this leisurely panoramic tour that introduces you to the many varied features and important landmarks of Northern Ireland's largest city.
Belfast is a city of both industry and elegance, and boasts a rich and varied past. Its origins go back to an ancient fort controlling the ford across the River Lagan, which flows through the city. Built with 19th century industrial money, many fine buildings from this era continue to grace the city today and are reminders of its prosperous past.
As your tour progresses, you'll enjoy commentary on such sights as the Grand Opera House and the Albert Memorial before passing Queen's University and the Botanic Gardens. Located in these gardens is the Palm House - a superb structure of cast iron and curved glass panels built even before Kew Gardens opened in London in 1839.
You will also drive past Belfast City Hall - an impressive building with a 300 ft. long façade of Portland stone, which dominates Donegall Square. The Renaissance-style building has a whispering gallery and on the main landing is a mural by John Luke - a romanticized portrayal of the great old industries of Belfast; rope makers, linen and shipbuilding - which today appears somewhat naïve. A brief stop here will allow you to photograph what is perhaps the most noteworthy of the statues to be found on the grounds. It is the marble figure of "Thane" on a granite pedestal, sculpted by Sir Thomas Brock and commemorating the sinking in 1912 of the R.M.S. Titanic, the ill-fated Belfast built ocean liner.
Traveling a short distance outside the city, you'll see Stormont, seat of the Northern Ireland Assembly. A symbol of progress to Northern Ireland's troubled past, the power sharing executive with responsibility for Northern affairs rule from this impressive building.
Included in your tour is a drive through the alternative sights of Belfast which includes the political wall murals located on the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road, which are a unique cultural experience. Another photo stop is scheduled here before continuing on.
Before returning to the pier, you will also see the former Crumlin Road Court House and Crumlin Jail, and The Peace Line.
Please note: This tour is considered panoramic with only brief photo stops. The tour is considered suitable for wheelchair guests who can make their way on and off the coach. Guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability. Weather appropriate clothing and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Guests should be prepared for the possibility of rain. The order of sites visited may vary.