As the oldest city in Ireland, the Port of Waterford was a seafaring stop for over 1,200 years.
Originally known as Waterford Harbour Commissioners, its predecessors used the waterways long before that time. The narration of Waterford City began with the Vikings arrival in Ireland in 914. The waterways of Waterford provided Henry II’s fleet an entrance in during the Norman occupation. The port is still instrumental today for its use as a major shipping cargo centre.
Last year the Celebrity Infinity caused some major news by docking at the charming village of Dunmore East.
Often overlooked as a cruise holiday port of call, passengers onboard this ship accessed the attractions of the region and neighbouring counties with nothing short of rave reviews.
Waterford has a wide variety of interesting attractions and sights to see that ensure that you will never consider staying on board. There’s no point in missing out on this revisit to history. Centred in Viking Triangle, there is a historic city centre which is known as the Waterford Museum of Treasure.
The Bishops Palace
The Bishop’s Palace is also worth seeing for a different historical experience. Visiting the palace can seem almost like you have travelled back in time, back to the 18th century when it was used as a place of residence. Everything has been perfectly preserved and there is a large amount of historical artefacts there as well, such as the oldest and largest collection of historic Waterford Crystal in the world.
Those who are still yearning for more historic sites can visit the Medieval Museum. It is mostly focused on the medieval period and contains many unforgettable exhibits. Some of the artefacts housed in this museum include the oldest portrait of King Edward III.
The only surviving Bonaparte cross, which was made in honour of the French leader’s death, is a must-see. The Great Charter Roll, which dates back to the 13th century, is also housed in the museum.
The 12th century mural tower is a portion of the Viking museum in the triangle. The tower has served in many roles and is now considered as one of the most recognisable attractions of Waterford. It has been commissioned as a prison, a mint and military store. In later centuries, the Tower served as a functioning royal castle for King John and Richard II. The exhibits include a set of Viking warrior armour and artefacts dating back to the 9th century.
Waterford is synonymous as one of the finest and largest seller of crystal in the world. Their most famous piece is the New Year’s Ball that drops down at midnight in New Yorks Times Square each year.
To see some exciting work in progress, head to the Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre and take a Factory Tour. Here, visitors can see glassblowers make incredible and detailed works of art.
Items made include a scale replica of a Viking boat as well as giant eagles taking flight. The entire process from start to finish can be viewed on the tour. Art and other items made at the factory are available for purchase.
Cruise ship visits 2014
The fanfare with Celebrity Infinity’s visit may have influenced other major lines to visit the port. Scheduled to visit this year are:
• Holland America’s Prinsendam and Rotterdam
• Windstar’s Wind Surf
• Crystal Cruise’s Symphony
• Regent’s Seven Seas Voyager
• Thompson’s Spirit
• Seabourn’s Legend
• Celebrity’s Infinity
Been to Waterford before on a cruise itinerary? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Veronica Shine