The history of the Port of Larne stretches from the mists of time in the Middle Stone Ages, through the pre-Christian centuries and the Viking raids, to the more modern history of the 19th and 20th centuries and the development of the most modern facilities and technologies which have made Larne a major channel of commercial and passenger traffic in these islands.
It is a story of vision, ingenuity and hard work which turned a small harbour into a thriving Port. Larne developed significantly from the mid-19th century. There were years of immense difficulty, including two World Wars, periods of economic depression and times of tragic loss as in the Princess Victoria disaster. However, throughout all these challenges, changes and setbacks, the people of Larne showed remarkable resilience, a determination to learn from the past and to look to the future and a resolve to make Larne the outstanding Port which it is today.
The story of the Port of Larne is also a history of great characters like James Chaine who did most to establish the port in the 19th century, also of Colonel Frank Bustard who in the mid-20th century, had the vision of a new system of moving goods in bulk and who helped to make Larne a most significant part of the container revolution.
Today, Larne is renowned as a premier Port in Ireland. It handles over 300,000 freight units a year, as well as 220,000 tourist vehicles and 845,000 passengers. It is operative 24 hours per day, seven days a week, with up to 20 arrivals and departures daily to and from the ports of Troon and Cairnryan.