Details of Cork’s top tourist attractions have been extolled from the ramparts of a historic fort.

A free pocket-sized brochure highlighting Cork City’s top tourist attractions was officially launched on the ramparts of Elizabeth Fort as the city’s new cruise ambassadors said they are gearing up for a busy few weeks encouraging cruise ship passengers to drop anchor in the city centre.

The Top Attractions in Cork City brochure was produced by the council as part of the introduction of its cruise ambassadors initiative.

Five trained ambassadors have, since April, been boarding the cruiseliners which berth at the Port of Cork’s cruise ship berths at Cobh and Ringaskiddy. They have been handing out the brochure to the passengers while offering advice on where to eat, drink, and shop while staying in Cork City.

Some 40,000 copies of the brochure have been issued to Cork Airport, Kent Railway Station, taxi companies, and to cruise ship passengers.

City officials said they have now ordered a second print run to ensure enough brochures are available during the busy summer period.

Following a review of the available tourism infor-mation, officials decided a one-stop brochure with the city’s top tourist attractions would be more practical for tourists.

The council’s tourism officer, Josephine Gazely, said: “Visitors clearly like to have their information condensed into a brochure that will fit into your pocket. They’d rather not carry around over a dozen flyers on arrival in Cork.”

The brochures, published in several languages, contain information on 16 top attractions, including Cork City Gaol, the English Market, Cork Public Museum and Fitzgerald’s Park, Crawford Art Gallery, UCC, Glucksman Gallery, Lifetime Lab, Shandon Church, Butter Exchange, St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, and Elizabeth Fort.

It includes an easy-to-read map of the city with the attractions highlighted, as well as information on opening times and entrance fees to the various attractions.

The cruise ambassadors programme was launched on the back of recommendations from Port of Cork officials last year. Each cruise ship passenger spends an average of €73 a day while onshore — a market worth up to €12m a year to the local economy.

Port of Cork statistics show that even before the cruiseliners arrive in port, about half the passengers have booked excursions to places such as Blarney, Kinsale, the Jameson Experience in Midleton, the Rock of Cashel, and Youghal, but the rest are independent travellers.

Port officials told city businesses last year that they were losing out on this category of passenger — a market which could be worth up to €3.6m annually.

The cruise ambassadors aim to raise the footfall and spend of the cruise tourist in Cork and promote the city as a tourism destination in and of itself. More than 100,000 cruise passengers and 60,000 crew on 65 cruise ships will visit Cork by November.

Meanwhile, the Minister of State for the Office of Public Works, Kevin “Boxer” Moran, has announced that all children under the age of 12 will be admitted free to all heritage sites managed by the OPW heritage service during the summer. He said the initiative, which starts on Saturday, will ensure all children under 12 will have an opportunity to visit these sites for free with their families during the holidays.

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