The first cruise ship of the season will arrive in Cork tomorrow, with a further 64 ships, containing 160,000 passengers and crew, set to follow in her wake.
Saga Cruises’ MV Saga Pearl 2 will be the first to arrive at the deepwater quay in Cobh.
A further seven liners will make their maiden call to Cork this season.
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises’ MV Caribbean Princess, carrying 3,500 passengers, will make her 14th visit.
The Port of Cork is expecting a very busy season and with it an increased economic benefit for the region.
The huge number of passengers and crew are expected to visit the city and county between March and November.
“The 2017 Cork cruise season is booming which is great for the port and the region,” said Port of Cork commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy.
“The numbers of calls are up compared to 2016 and we feel very positive about this increase in business. It’s also very encouraging to see cruise lines bringing their newest vessels to Cork on maiden calls and choosing Cobh as part of their cruising route.
“It is our ambition to attract larger cruise ships and increase our cruise calls to 75 per year. Already the bookings for 2018 are indicating we will achieve this goal, if not exceed it.”
Last year Cruise Critic, the world’s leading cruise review site and online cruise community, announced the winners of its inaugural cruisers’ choice awards with Cobh ranked second favourite cruise destination in the British Isles and western Europe.
Capt McCarthy said the awards recognise the high level of effort that goes into ensuring every cruise passenger visiting Cobh has a memorable visit.
As well as Cobh, the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which will see eight cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer.
Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for active expedition cruises.
See www.portofcork.ie for the complete schedule of cruise liner visits to Cobh and Bantry this year.
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