The SS Nomadic, Titanic's 'little sister', in Belfast.
From Kilkeel, up to Belfast and on to Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland owes much to its coastline and the sea – and that means there’s a whole world of maritime history and heritage ripe for exploring.
Chart a course through these maritime marvels and you’ll discover fishy tales, Titanic adventures and treasures from the Spanish Armada.
1. The Nautilus Centre
Check out the vibrant seafaring culture of the Kilkeel fishing port in the Nautilus Centre, which houses a maritime visitor centre, a tourist information centre and Mourne Seafood Cookery School. Exhibitions and touch screens reveal the town’s maritime heritage and the stories of local fishing families.
2. Titanic Belfast
Trace the incredible story of the most famous ship in history at the iconic Titanic Belfast. Over nine interactive galleries, it vividly recreates the extraordinary drama surrounding RMS Titanic and testifies to Belfast’s strong maritime heritage and once world-leading shipbuilding prowess.
3. H&W Drawing Offices
Experience the cathedral-like atmosphere of this hub in the Harland & Wolff shipyard empire on a Titanic Belfast Discovery Tour. This is where RMS Titanic was designed and where maritime dreams took shape.
4. Titanic and Olympic Slipways
Take a stroll behind Titanic Belfast and discover the slipways where RMS Titanic and her sister Olympic first slid into the water, now a public plaza. Explore the life size outlines of both ships’ main decks, the lawns, lamp posts, benches and stone etchings, all laden with maritime symbolism and history.
5. SS Nomadic
Marvel at this nautical treasure on a tour of the four decks of 'Titanic’s little sister’ moored close to where she was built. Fully restored to her former glory and chockful of maritime history, the SS Nomadic used to ferry first-class and second-class passengers to the great liner.
6. HMS Caroline
Visit one of the world’s most historically significant ships, moored in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. Now a state-of-the-art floating World War I museum, HMS Caroline (Re-opening 2017) is the only survivor of the Battle of Jutland, considered to be the greatest maritime battle ever fought .
7. Titanic Memorial Garden
Pause at Belfast City Hall to reflect on the greatest maritime disaster in history. A nine-metre-long long plinth bears the name of every person who perished in the Titanic tragedy.
8. TITANICa Exhibition
View 500 maritime artefacts, including one of the original plans of the RMS Titanic with last minute design changes, as well as a porthole recovered from the icy seabed. Also see the trams shipyard workers would have taken to the shipyard and the exclusive Minerva car popular with first class passengers at this Ulster Folk and Transport Museum exhibition.
9. Tower Museum
Uncover one of the Walled City’s many maritime milestones at the Tower Museum, where cannons fired by Spanish Armada sailors, the shoes they wore and the coins they earned fill the room in an exhibition devoted to ‘An Armada Shipwreck, La Trinidad Valencera’.