Some 86 cruise ships will sail into Dublin this year, giving the city a potential €55m boost, it was revealed today.
The first of the luxury liners, Oriana, docked in the capital this morning, bringing with it 1,900 holidaymakers and 800 crew.
Dublin Port Company said the cruise ship industry has been a major tourism contributor since the mid-1990s, bringing in more than €350m in the last decade alone.
Some 80,000 passengers are expected to be brought to Dublin on cruises this year, prompting Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin to declare the business generated should not be underestimated.
“In an increasingly challenging and competitive international tourism market, it is encouraging to see that we continue to attract a larger number of these magnificent cruise liners each year,” Ms Hanafin said.
“Their contribution to our economy is significant and the business that cruise ships bring to the ports and cities should not be underestimated.
“I know, for instance, that each cruise ship call delivers a noticeable upturn in trade at high-end retailers.”
The 69,000-tonne, 10-deck Oriana, operated by P&O Cruises, will leave for Cork after a day in Dublin, before sailing for Bilbao in Spain, Brest in France and returning to Southampton in the UK on Sunday.
Enda Connellan, Dublin Port Company chief executive, said: “Our location, in the heart of Dublin city, is ideal for tourists to venture into our capital. We are bringing an important industry to the city which this year alone will benefit this city’s economy by between €35m to €55m.”
Dublin Chamber of Commerce said the industry will bring a welcome boost to businesses and retailers in the capital.