Wednesday 26 October 2011
The Port of Cork Company held a cruise seminar today to highlight the need for a united approach within the Cork Cruise business and to announce the first turnaround cruises from Cork expected in 2012.
The Port of Cork Company mentioned at the seminar that the port’s role is to facilitate the safe and efficient berthing to all vessels. However, increasingly the Port finds itself acting as a tourism body promoting the region to the cruise companies, attending trade exhibitions, meeting attractions and tourist providers and insuring new shore excursions are being offered. As the cruise business in Cork continues to grow, a wider and united approach with city and county councils, tour operators, travel agents, local tourism organisations and attractions, is needed to promote the region and the activities which cruise passengers can enjoy during their visit.
In 2010 at a previous cruise seminar, the Port of Cork announced their aim to grow the cruise business over the next five years to 75 cruise calls and to encourage cruise companies to use Cork as a turnaround port, offering cruises departing from Cork and returning to Cork.
At this year’s seminar, the Port was delighted to announce that two companies in 2012 will offer turnaround cruise calls to Cork. Both MSC Cruises and Hebridean Island Cruises will operate cruises in August and September highlighting the opportunities Cork has as a turnaround port and for Irish passengers wishing to cruise from Cork. MSC Cruises will call to Hamburg, Amsterdam, Scotland, Dublin and back to Cork, while Hebridean Island Cruises will focus on Cork and the West coast of Ireland.
Speaking at the cruise seminar, held in Fota Island Resort, Captain Michael McCarthy Port of Cork said: ‘The two turnaround calls in 2012 are very exciting and we are delighted that the Cork cruise business is growing, following our efforts and investment over the years. We now have Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth, capable of handling the largest liners afloat today and we must now capitalise on working together and offering more to attract the cruise lines. It’s imperative that there is a united approach so that when a ship calls we are able to promote all that is happening in the City, the county and the wider Munster region directly to the cruise passengers.’
He continued: ‘We are currently undergoing a strategic review of our cruise berth and we hope to have this completed in 2012. In Cork we have a unique product offering in terms of the cruise berth and its location in Cobh. While the Port of Cork is committed to investment in the Cruise sector, we recognise that the region is the biggest benefactor from this business with at least €20 Million being generated both directly and in-directly, hence the need for a united approach.’
Also speaking at the cruise seminar was Aiden Pender, Strategic Development Failte Ireland, Jens Chr. Skrede, Managing Director Cruise Europe and Margaret Cronin Specialised Travel Services.
Since 1991 Port of Cork passenger and crew numbers have grown by nearly 85,000, highlighting the rapid growth of the sector which is predicated to continue. Cruise bookings for 2012 have already exceeded 2011 calls and potentially could be the busiest yet for the Port of Cork.
The 2012 Port of Cork cruise bookings list will be available at www.portofcork.ie at the end of January 2012.
For further information please contact;
Commercial Marketing Executive
Port of Cork Company
Custom House Street
Tel: +353 (0) 21 4625 375
Mobile: +353 (0) 86 1044011
Fax: +353 (0) 21 4276 484
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