He came to the shores too late during the second embarking of Eressëa and as he stood forlorn he saw far-off a glimmer of light upon Eressëa as it vanished into the West.
Then he cried aloud: I will follow that light, alone if none will come with me, for the ship that I have been building is now almost ready.
But into his heart came a message from the Valar which warned him that his ship could not endure the voyage, nor would any ship for many years, until the time when his work be of utmost worth, remembered in song. Círdan answered in obeyance, and saw a vision of a ship.
Later Círdan aided Eärendil in building the ship Vingilot, giving him advice and help. Thus, wielding the Silmaril, Eärendil came to Valinor and found the forgiveness of the Valar.. Círdan doubtless remembered his vision, and this ship was indeed a fulfillment of it.
He was clearly favored by Ulmo, seen by the number of messages passed through him. Ulmo is a Quenya title, which means “the Pourer”