Wednesday 02 December 2009
2009 proved to be a record year for the Port of Cork with a total of 54 cruise liners calling to Cobh, Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth. Onboard the 54 cruise liners were a total of 103, 273 passengers and crew, a record number to visit Cork.
Following the port’s investment in Cobh’s dedicated cruise berth, some of the largest liners in the world are now capable of berthing, bringing with them thousands of passengers and crew. This year alone, the largest liner in the world ‘Independence of the Seas ‘made two calls to Cobh, all of which were overnight stays, while ‘Queen Mary II’ also visited.
Since 1991 passenger numbers have grown by nearly 80,000, highlighting the rapid growth of the sector which is predicated to continue. According to Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy, cruise bookings for 2010 are positive, while 2011 potentially could be the busiest yet.
As well as Royal Caribbean’s ‘Independence of the Seas’ visiting again in 2010, Celebrity Cruise’s ‘Eclipse’ will also make her maiden call to Cork. Described as a floating masterpiece ‘Eclipse’ carries over 3,500 passengers and even has its own freshly manicured lawn on the highest deck! Both Eclipse and Independence of the Seas will make two overnight calls in 2010.
Captain McCarthy commented: ‘With so many passengers arriving into Cobh and Cork, the impact that this has on the local economy is very positive. In a recent study carried out by UK cruise consultants, GP Wild, on average the spend per in-transit passenger is approximately €73. This in turn means that over €5 million was spent by passengers visiting Cork in 2009, directly contributing to the local economy.’
Continuing Captain McCarthy talked about Cork’s potential saying that: ‘Feedback from cruise companies visiting Cork is very positive. Direct access to the quayside for passengers coupled with the accessibility of trains to Cork and the historic town of Cobh and its attractions on their doorstep, makes Cobh an attractive port of call. Cork must capitalise on being voted within the Lonely Planet’s top ten cities to visit and as a port, we will be communicating this message to the cruise companies encouraging new cruise ships to call to Cork.’
The 2010 Port of Cork cruise bookings list will be available at www.portofcork.ie
at the end of January 2010.