On 18th May  2017 the MS Astor cruise ship made her maiden voyage into Killybegs. 290 crew and 474 passengers descended on Killybegs with the arrival of the luxury German built MS Astor cruise ship. The Cathaoirleach of Donegal, Cllr. Terence Slowey was at Killybegs Harbour to welcome the MS Astor, her passengers and crew. Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey had the opportunity to meet with Ukrainian Captain Andrey Lesnichiy on board the MS Astor where they discussed a shared interest in cruise tourism and the many wonderful attractions and places to visit in Donegal for cruise visitors.

Captain Lesnichiy was presented with a commemorative Donegal coat of arms plaque by Cathaoirleach Cllr. Slowey and said that “it was his great pleasure to sail into Killybegs since the facilities are first class, the welcome is warm and inviting and the county itself is simply breathtaking”. Captain Lesnichiy looks forward to returning to Killybegs in the future.

The Cathaoirleach Cllr. Terence Slowey, his wife Patricia and representatives from Donegal County Council including Head of Tourism Barney McLaughlin and Caroline Britton were given a tour of the MS Astor. Extensively refurbished in 2010, the MS Astor offers cruise accommodation for 600 guests. The unique size of Astor offers an intimate personalised cruise experience.  Whilst on board, passengers are recognised by name and enjoy a sense of familiarity. With fine cuisine, high class entertainment, comfortable lounges and accommodation, the MS Astor is ensures guests have an outstanding and memorable voyage. Donegal is the perfect addition to the cruise itinerary.

Killybegs is an ideal deep water harbour that can accommodate cruise ships of all sizes from all over the world. The team at Killybegs Information Centre are on hand when cruise ships arrive and welcome passengers and crew to Killybegs, the gateway to the Sliabh Liag experience on the Wild Atlantic Way. With a range of outdoor activities, attractions and entertainment available locally, Killybegs is the perfect stop over destination for cruise ships.

Donegal County Council and Donegal Tourism CLG are working closely with representatives in Killybegs to develop the cruise tourism sector. 2018 is already looking very promising with the Cunard line Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria cruise ships due to visit Killybegs for the first time. Both vessels are almost 300 metres long – more than twice the length of Croke Park!

Killybegs has something for everyone and with the warmest of welcomes; cruise visitors will take home many lasting memories of their time in Donegal. The MS Astor is just one of 13 major cruisers that will visit the harbour this year.