Marking a new dawn for the North Coast, Kintra Boat Tours has today, 1st April, launched Kintra II, Northern Ireland’s largest sightseeing passenger ship. Docked in Ballycastle Harbour, Kintra II marks a £1 million investment by the company, with the creation of 8 jobs (2 full time, 6 seasonal positions).
Licensed for 84 passengers, Kintra II was commissioned in August 2020, and arrived in Ballycastle at the start of 2022. It joins Kintra I, the company’s first vessel which provides sightseeing and wildlife tours along the beautiful North Coast.
Headed up by seasoned mariner, Charles Stewart and business partner Dawn Hynes, Kintra Boat Tours launched in March 2020, just as a pandemic took hold. After a choppy start, the company has benefitted from the huge rise in staycations.
Commenting on the arrival of Kintra II, Kintra Boat Tours Director, Charles Stewart adds: “The North Coast is one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and it’s been a long-held ambition to enable locals and tourists to view the incredible wildlife and scenery from sea.
“I launched Kintra Boat Tours in March 2020, but then the world paused. After a challenging start, the summer of 2020 was incredible and we were so honoured to offer thousands of locals a new experience, viewing the North Coast from sea. There’s been a huge appetite for our sightseeing trips and buoyed by this confidence, we commissioned our second vessel from Blyth Catamarans, which we are delighted to launch today.”
Officially launched by Minster for the Economy, Gordon Lyons and Councillor Richard Holmes, The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens for 2021/2022 Kintra II is one of only two licensed sightseeing ships in Northern Ireland, the other being Kintra I, also owned by Kintra Boat Tours.
Dawn Hynes, Partner at Kintra Boat Tours adds: “Today marks a milestone for the local economy, our tourism offering and for our company. The addition of Kintra II will enable us to create new job roles locally, and also to more than double our capacity, which is especially important for the summer season.
“In the past two years, we’ve grown the business due to demand from tourists visiting the beautiful North Coast, and our bookings from Easter onwards are already very healthy. We’re looking forward to an exceptionally busy Summer and would like to thank our local Council for all of their support, our fellow tourism businesses on the North Coast and all of our customers whom we’re looking forward to welcoming back as the good weather returns.”
Kintra Boat Tours sail all year round from Ballycastle along the North Coast and Rathlin Island, one of Ireland’s most spectacular wildlife habitats with breath-taking scenery. Kintra’s skippers are incredibly knowledgeable about the geography, history and the wildlife of the North coast and Rathlin Island, and all trips also have a wildlife guide onboard.
See www.kintraboattours.co.uk for further information.