Cruise ship trade set for 20-year high

August is set to be the busiest month in 20 years for cruise ships stopping in Cork, which, it is estimated, will boost the local economy to the tune of €2m.

The Port of Cork said it is expecting to see 21 cruise liners carrying 30,000 passengers call into Cobh, with up to three calling on the same day.

Port of Cork’s commercial manager, Captain Michael McCarthy, said the volume of ships arriving in Cobh shows its ability to handle multiple ships.

“It will be all hands on deck for the month of August as we get set to welcome 21 liners to our port. Not only does this highlight the Port of Cork as a popular cruise destination, but will also demonstrate our capabilities as a port in managing more than one cruise vessel in port at a time,” he said.

The largest ship set to visit in August is the Princess Caribbean which has a capacity for 3,592 passengers and 1,200 crew members.

Based on a conservative estimate of each passenger spending €70 while in Cork, it is estimated that the cruise liners will bring in a €2m economic stimulus for attractions from Killarney to the Rock of Cashel.

Research by the Port of Cork has found that 60% of passengers book trips to attractions before the ships leave while the remainder arrive without plans and make their own way to local attractions like the Titanic Museum, Fota Island, or the Midleton Distillery.

Capt McCarthy said they are currently in a drive to boost the number of visitors to 100,000 every year.

“It’s incredibly important that these cruise passengers are given a huge Irish welcome when they arrive.

“We are delivering in partnership with the cruise lines up to 100,000 cruise passengers and crew yearly and it’s really up to the city, county, and tourism groups and retailers to ensure they are looked after when they get here.”


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