Azamara Cruise Evening
We welcomed 550 guests from the Azamara Pursuit cruise liner, which was docked in Belfast, for a wonderful evening of entertainment on August 15.
The visitors, who came from countries around the world, were ferried to and from the Cathedral in a convoy of coaches. Once inside St Anne’s, they were welcomed by Cathedral staff and enjoyed refreshments, canapés and music from Belfast legend Brian Kennedy and local group Sapphire.
There were many words of praise for the spectacular venue from guests and crew, who had spent the day in Belfast, visiting attractions including Belfast Castle and Titanic Belfast.
Andrea Stiles, from Virginia, USA, said it had been a very different evening. “It would not be normal to take guests on a cruise to a venue like this for an evening’s entertainment,” she said. “The Cathedral is beautiful, you can tell it is full of old spirit.”
Barbara and Paul Leese from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, said they had enjoyed their evening. “I love the simplicity of the Cathedral,” said Paul. “Belfast is just so much nicer than we expected.”
Doug and Jean Wade from Florida said Belfast was a wonderful city. “We have had a tremendous evening,” said Doug. “It was a great combination of culture and music. Brian Kennedy has a fantastic voice and this the most beautiful venue. It has been really special.”
Michael Solomon, an attorney from Miami, was delighted to hear Brian Kennedy sing, and to learn of his association with another Northern Ireland legend, Van Morrison.
“I saw Van Morrison sing in Miami five months ago. We are exactly the same age and I have been following him since I went to college. I loved Brian, he has the same stage presence as Van and he has a great rapport with the audience.
“The Cathedral is a lovely venue, inspiring. We have been to Belfast before and singularly it is the most friendly, welcoming city pretty much anywhere.”
Cruise Director Tony Markey said the evening had been a great success. Azamara Cruises have held similar events in Liverpool Cathedral and in a Cathedral in Malta, and have now added Belfast Cathedral to their list.
“This is such an impressive venue, especially for the non-UK guest. When you come in the door there is immediate wow factor” said Tony. “If you give them wow when they arrive you immediately put them in the mood to enjoy the rest of the evening.
“For the guests, ease of access is a really big thing, and having the coaches pull up to the front of the Cathedral made it so easy for our visitors.”
Artist Minori from Japan works on the Azamara, creating beautiful pictures of places the ship visits. Stood at the front of the Cathedral so the audience could see her work in progress, she painted a beautiful picture of St Anne’s – in the time that Brian Kennedy was singing!
“I love the Cathedral,” she said. “I did not check any photographs while I was painting this picture. I did it all from memory.”
Holly Wilson, Belfast Cathedral Events and Marketing Manager, said: “We were really delighted to have the Azamara cruise with us for the first time. The evening was a great success. The Cathedral is delighted to welcome international guests, and lends itself so well to hosting large scale events like this.”
To enquire about booking Belfast Cathedral for an event, email email@example.com or call 028 9032 8332.
View all photos from the event here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/f1JorKjz1Fo6MTc7A