The Port of Cork has had a record season for cruise liner visits with 100 vessels bringing nearly a quarter of a million passengers and crew to the region.
The visits are worth millions to the local economy as research found cruise ship passengers spend an average of €81 during their visit to Cork, while crew spend approximately €29.
The Port of Cork said 243,000 passengers and crew visited the region with many passengers visiting Cork for the first time.
There is only one cruise ship left to visit the port before the end of the year and it will arrive next month.
The vast majority dock at the cruise liner terminal on the deep water quay in Cobh.
As well as Cobh, the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which saw 10 cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer.
Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique and expedition style cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for an active cruise. Bantry Bay Port Company has developed a cruise strategy for Bantry in order to grow the business in West Cork.
The smaller cruise liner market, or ‘expedition’ market, has huge growth potential and it is this market that Bantry hopes to capitalise on over the next few years, with the guidance of the Port of Cork.
The cruise industry, which anticipates that 30 million passengers globally will cruise in 2019, has seen a major shift in the demographic now taking to the seas.
“However, in order to successfully promote Cork as a sustainable cruise destination, it takes commitment from local tourism bodies, local businesses and Cork City and Cork County Council to work."
Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating said the 100 calls had surpassed expectations.together to enhance the reputation of Cork globally."