Tuesday 06 November 2012

Call of “Adonia” closes busiest cruise season to date

The Port of Cork welcomed MV Adonia, the final cruise liner of the 2012 season to Cobh today following the busiest year to date for the Port in terms of cruise calls. In total, 57 liners called to the Port of Cork, home to Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth, carrying almost 100,000 passengers and crew.

The Port of Cork has ambitious plans to grow the business and already the 2013 season is showing growth, with 62 liners expected to call. Some of these calls will stay overnight and at least 10 liners will make their maiden call to Cork in 2013. For the first time ever, Europe’s largest cruise liner “Independence of the Seas” will welcome passengers to embark at Cobh next June and September for a 12 night cruise around the Norwegian Fjords. This initiative which is exclusive to Lee Travel is a major coup for Cork.

Over the last 10 years, the Port of Cork has invested €8 million in upgrading and improving cruise facilities and this has made a major impact on the number of calls, increasing from 35 in 2005 to 57 this year. With an average spend per in-transit passenger of approximately €73 per day*, the cruise business is an important catalyst for the local economy.

Commenting on the success of the 2012 cruise season, Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager of the Port of Cork said “We know from our meetings with the cruise lines that Cork and the Munster region is a very popular destination for passengers due to the exciting range of shore excursions on offer and the warm welcome they receive here which is second to none. We want to grow the number of cruise calls to 80 over the next five years and to increase turn-around calls and overnight stays to generate even further revenue for the region.”

As always, all cruise liners that called to Cork throughout the season were given a very special welcome courtesy of CorkCruise, providing tourist representatives to go onboard each vessel, a display of traditional Irish dancing for passengers and a fond farewell on the quayside with a performance by a local brass band. These efforts were recognised once again in 2011 when the Port of Cork was awarded two Cruise Insight Awards for ‘Best Shore Side Welcome’ and ‘Best Tour Guides’ which were announced at the global shipping conference, Seatrade Miami in April 2012.

*Failte Ireland ‘Cruise Tourism to Ireland’ Survey 2010