Navigation & Pilotage


Belfast Harbour Port Operations is responsible for providing a safe and efficient service to all customers and stakeholders working in or visiting the Port.

All visitors to Belfast should be aware that the Port is fully operational 24 hours a day and is used for a variety of shipping requirements and crafts.

In 2017, Belfast Harbour had 5,817 ship arrivals of which a substantial proportion were daily scheduled services.

Belfast Harbour VTS operates both a traffic information and traffic organisational service; descriptions of which can be found in the Notice to Mariners No 2 of 2013 and in the VTS Manual.

Recreational users of Belfast Lough are encouraged to download the Tide Tables

Belfast Harbour - Port - Navigation & Pilotage
The management of all arrivals is coordinated by Belfast Harbour’s Vessel Traffic Service [VTS].


Full details of pilot requirements for vessels are available in the Pilotage Directions. Pilot bookings are arranged via Port Control on Belfast VTS on Ch 12 VHF. Pilots are delivered to vessels entering the port by pilot launch.

Notice to Mariners

It is important to maintain up-to-date information to aid the navigational safety of users. Belfast Harbour communicates all such information relevant to its Harbour Limits via Notice to Mariners.

Contact Us

Mariners are requested to contact Belfast Harbour on 02890 553016 or by e-mail at  should they have any information relating to navigational safety. Urgent and immediate information relating to the Harbour should be passed via Belfast VTS on VHF channel 12 or via Belfast Coastguard on Ch 16.

Operational Notices

The full list of Operational Notices can be downloaded below

Marine Incident Reporting

Following feedback from port users, Belfast Harbour have introduced a Marine Incident Report Form. This form is to be used to report a Marine/Navigational or Safety Incident or Near Miss to the Port Operations Department. Urgent navigational matters should be reported immediately to Belfast Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 12 or phone 02890 553014 if VHF is not available