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West Cork to welcome 10 liners this summer

Thursday, 25th April, 2019 7:10am
West Cork to welcome 10 liners this summer

The €5m superyacht Capella C arriving into Kinsale on Wednesday. It’s privately-owned, but cruise ships are likely to add a boost to the West Cork economy over the next number of years. Photo: David Creedon/Anzenberger

CORK’S  cruise season has kicked off with the arrival of the MV Astoria into Cobh.

This year looks set to be a record year for the Port of Cork with the numbers of scheduled calls the highest the port has ever seen. Capable of handling some of the largest liners, carrying high volumes of passengers at their dedicated cruise berth in Cobh, the Port of Cork anticipates total passenger numbers to be 200,000 and 80,000 crew.

Some 14 cruise liners will make their maiden calls to the Port this season which is always encouraging, however the number of repeat visits from cruise lines shows their dedication to Cobh.

As well as Cobh the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which will see 10 cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer. Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for active expedition cruises. Bantry Bay Port Company and the Port of Cork are currently developing a cruise strategy for Bantry in order to grow the business in West Cork.

The increased cruise calls to Cork are indicative of the wider global cruise business which has seen huge growth. In 2018 an estimated 27.2 million people took a cruise on over 450 cruise ships worldwide. With the global cruise ship order book for new build contracts reaching 113 ships between now and 2027, Cork cruise business is set to grow further in the coming years and the Port of Cork is eager to attract these new ships.

On average, cruise ship passengers spend €81 during their time in Cork; with 42% of this money being spent on shopping, 32% on excursion travel and 17% on food and drink. Typically crew spend approximately €29, with most of the money being spent on food and drink and/or shopping.