Belfast Harbour’s origins date back to 1613 when a Royal Charter for the incorporation of Belfast specified the need for a wharf at the confluence of the rivers Lagan and Farset in what is modern-day Belfast’s High Street. By the early 18th century Belfast had replaced Carrickfergus as the most important port in Ulster. In the 19th century work commenced to improve navigation and this created the Victoria Channel.
The Harbour now has the longest deepwater quay in Ireland at 1 kilometre in length with a draught of 10.2 metres.
Belfast shipbuilding was at the heart of the local industry building ships for the White Star Line, including Titanic. Today SS Nomadic, Titanic’s little sister, is the only surviving White Star Line Ship.SS Nomadic was built on slipway Number 1 at Harland and Wolff and was launched on 25th April 1911. Nomadic has been restored to her original 1911 glory and is back home in Belfast.
During World War II the Port of Belfast was used by the Royal Navy as the home base for many of the ships that escorted Atlantic and Russian convoys including Captain-class frigates of the 3rd Escort Group.
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