The biggest ever ship to dock in Co. Donegal arrived in Killybegs early this morning.

The 90,000 tonne Queen Victoria is part of the famous Cunard Line.

The luxury liner - which is twice the length of Croke Park -  has around 2,000 passengers, plus 981 crew and is on a cruise around Great Britain and Ireland.

One of the crew members is Nuala O'Donnell (pictured), who has a home in Fintown, and is originally from Burtonport.

As a 3rd Officer on the giant vessel, part of her job sees her navigating the ship from the bridge on a watch of up to four hours.

Members of her family were in Killybegs this morning to greet her as she came ashore for a few hours.

Many of the passengers opted to go on excursions around Donegal.

There is a considerable spin-off for the local economy as a result of the cruise ship visits.

This is one of 15 cruise liners to take in Killybegs in 2018.

“The quay facilities in Killybegs and all the support services available locally are second to none.  Killybegs is one of very few ports in Ireland that can handle ships such as Queen Victoria and as such it presents a fantastic opportunity to bring thousands of visitors to Donegal, " commented Jim Parkinson of Killybegs-based shipping agents Sinbad Marine Services.

Local councillor Niamh Kennedy pointed out that visits like this are a major boost for tourism in the county.

See this week's Donegal Post and Letterkenny Post for extensive coverage of the event.

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