Nearly €18m will be spent in the Cork region by cruise liner passengers and crew when a record 94 ships dock in the harbour this season.
The projected cash windfall is based on a survey conducted by the Port of Cork into the spending habits of those who visited last year.
When MV Astoria arrives in Cobh on March 21, it will be the first of 94 cruise liners to arrive in the Port of Cork in 2018, a 30% increase on last year. The ships will have 188,844 passengers and some 80,000 crew.
More than 80 cruise ships have booked to visit Cork in 2019 and it is likely more will be added to that list in the coming months.
The survey shows that, on average, cruise liner passengers spend €81 each during their time in Cork.
Some 42% of this is spent on shopping, 32% on excursion travel, and 17% on food and drink.
Crew typically spend approximately €29, with most of the money going on food, drink, and shopping.
Port of Cork commercial manager Captain Michael McCarthy said the aim of the research was to get a sense of passengers’ shore excursions experiences and to determine any areas in need of improvement.
Feedback showed passengers who take the pre-booked shore excursions reported very good experiences, while the ‘independent’ passengers seem to be looking for alternative, more active experiences in both the city and the county.
Eight cruise liners will make their maiden calls to Cork this year, including Disney Cruise Lines MV Disney Magic in September and the largest of the MSC Cruise Lines fleet, MSC Meraviglia, which carries up to 4,500 passengers.
Royal Caribbean’s MV Royal Princess will call 10 times during the season.
In 2017, the Port of Cork carried out cruise research on both passengers and crew arriving into Cobh and Ringaskiddy.
Capt McCarthy said the big increase in cruise liner traffic will provide a major economic boost to many businesses in the region, especially between March and September.
To find out dates and arrival times of cruise liners calling
to Port of Cork or Bantry Bay Port, see portofcork.ie for the complete 2018 schedule
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