Landmark Partnership: Cruise Ireland and Cruise Britain Join Forces to Boost Cruise Tourism

Cruise Ireland and The Port of Cork Company are proud to announce a landmark partnership between Cruise Ireland and Cruise Britain, aimed at fostering collaboration and driving growth in the cruise business sector.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by representatives from both Cruise Ireland and Cruise Britain at the renowned Seatrade Global Conference in Miami, Florida, the world’s largest cruise trade show and conference.

The cruise industry is estimated to be worth €70 million to the national economy annually, with onshore spending averaging at €81 per passenger and €29 per crewperson.

The approach to promote Ireland and the British Isles as a ‘cruising region’ aims to harness the further growth potential of the cruise tourism sector with itineraries that offer world renowned experience and attractions all within short sailing distances.

Through strategic collaboration, both organisations can tap into new markets and demographics, expand their reach and promote a unique Ireland and Britain cruise offering – bolstering economic potential.

The agreement signifies a shared commitment to promoting and developing cruise tourism through joint marketing campaigns, while emphasising sustainable and responsible tourism practices. It establishes a framework for cooperation in key areas including promotion of cruise tourism, knowledge sharing, regulatory framework, environmental sustainability, joint committees, and information sharing.

Conor Mowlds, Chair of Cruise Ireland and Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “This agreement signifies the strong intent to foster connections across borders and seas to bolster our positioning for future tourism and economic growth.
“Cruise calls provide essential transient tourism – shorter stays, an injection of economic activity to regions without putting additional pressure on the hospitality sector for the need of bed nights. Onshore spending averages over €80 per passenger and almost €30 per crewperson, highlighting the substantial economic benefits for the regions.
“The partnership between Cruise Ireland and Cruise Britain holds promise for driving economic growth, job creation, and sustainable tourism across our islands. ”

Ian McQuade, Chair, Cruise Britain stated, “Cruise Britain welcomes this MoU which marks a real step change in the working relationship between Britain and Ireland’s shoreside cruise businesses. For the cruise sector, the United Kingdom and Ireland represent a key operating region within Northern Europe and all partners can benefit from working together to leverage increased business and a smooth, sustainable growth trajectory. As an association spanning the four nations of the UK, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands, Cruise Britain absolutely believes that ports and service providers are stronger together and can deliver better experiences through collaboration, sharing of best practices and addressing common challenges. To extend this across the Irish Sea to the whole of Ireland represents a key development and we look forward to working with our Cruise Ireland colleagues in the future.”

For more information about the Port of Cork Company, please visit

For more information about Cruise Ireland, please visit,

For more information about Cruise Britain, please visit

About Port of Cork Company

The Port of Cork is the world’s second-largest natural harbour and a key international trade gateway. It is the key seaport in the south of Ireland and is one of the three Ports of National Significance (Tier 1) as designated by National Ports Policy.

The National Ports Policy mandates Tier 1 Ports to lead the response in meeting Ireland’s future port capacity requirements. In this capacity, the port is also central to the national economic growth given that national ports handle approximately 90% of all imported and exported tonnage in Ireland.

As a multi-model port it is only one of two ports in Ireland to service all six shipping modes – lift on/ lift off, roll-on/ roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise.

The Port of Cork Company (PoCC) is a commercial semi-state company responsible for the broad range of commercial running of Cork harbour as well as the navigation and berthage in the port.

In 2022, the Ports of Cork and Bantry reported a total consolidated traffic throughput of 10.2 million tonnes. The PoCC’s direct workforce is 170 staff, however, it supports thousands of jobs through indirect employment through warehouses, hauliers and shipping agents.

PoCC is a hugely important catalyst for trade and employment, offering direct connectivity to a global supply chain, particularly for FDI. 35 of its top customers are from industries such as Med-Tec, Pharma, IT, chemical and Agri-Food accounting for €145 billion of manufacturing and supporting over 45,000 jobs directly in the southwest region.

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