Captain cruises into top position

The person widely credited with significantly boosting cruise liner business to Cork has landed a prestigious European position.

Port of Cork commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy has been unanimously elected chairman of Cruise Europe.

The organisation has more than 100 member ports from countries on the Atlantic, Scandinavia, Portugal, Russia, Iceland and the Faros Islands.

Capt McCarthy — with 40 years’ maritime experience as master at sea, marine surveyor and deputy harbour master — said he was honoured by the appointment.

He will continue to work on developing Cruise Europe’s drive to get more luxury liners to visit member ports.

From 2005-2010, there was an 84% increase in the number of cruise liners visiting these ports, estimated to be worth €35bn.

Capt McCarthy said the cruise line business was now worth €60m to the Irish economy.

“On average there are over 200 cruise liner calls to Ireland each year, carrying approximately 500,000 passengers and crew. There are many indirect economic and tourism benefits to Ireland, as well as the benefit of introducing Ireland to new markets and growing business opportunities. Cruise visits help showcase Ireland’s world-class shore products, destinations and all Ireland has to offer visitors,” Capt McCarthy said.


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