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All cruise liner visits to Cork ‘temporarily suspended’

March 19th, 2020 12:30 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

The luxury cruise liner ‘Astor' in Bantry last year: all cruise ship visits have been suspended until April at least.

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THE Port of Cork has just announced that it has agreed a temporary suspension of operations with Cruise Lines as a result of the escalating global COVID-19 outbreak.

Cruise liners that were due to berth between now and April 20th have been cancelled. Cruise operations in the following months are now in question.

The Port has welcomed clarity from the cruise lines in relation to the cancellations, with these decisions being taken in the best interests of public safety.

Port of Cork chief Brendan Keating said they were obviously disappointed that this year’s cruise season had been impacted by Covid-19, but they fully respect the decision of the cruise companies to cancel these calls in the interests of public health. ‘There will be a significant impact on the local community through loss of business, and we fully support Government initiatives to help those businesses trade through difficult times,’ he said.

Freight operations are continuing, and the Port expects to accommodate all scheduled vessels in the weeks ahead.

Staff members and visitors at the port are adopting best practice in terms of social distancing, and as a precaution, inbound ships are subject to strict new guidelines as outlined in a notice to mariners.

The schedule of freight arrivals at the Port of Cork is unaffected by the Covid-19 outbreak. These inbound vessels will carry a range of goods including standard containers, fertiliser, crude oil, and animal feed.

• Note: this announcement was made after this week's Southern Star went to press, in which our columnist Archon calls on the Port of Cork to reconsider having cruise liners calling to Cork.

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