BANTRY Bay Port Company expects to host 10 liners this year, compared to five last year.
Annual figures show Bantry Port and the Port of Cork had combined traffic of 10.3 million tonnes in 2017 – up 8.6% compared to 2016.
In 2017 the Port of Cork handled 68 cruise liners bringing over 140,000 passengers and crew to the region, while in Bantry Bay five cruise liners visited the harbour, with MV Prinsendam making her maiden call to Bantry, the first liner to do so in 30 years. Total imports increased by 6.4% while exports increased by 12.3%. The Port of Cork total container volumes through both Tivoli and Ringaskiddy container terminals grew by 3.7% compared to 2016 figures, with a total of 217,763 TEU’s handled in 2017.
Oil traffic, predominantly handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery now owned by Canadian company Irving Oil, saw an increase of 2%. Trade in dry bulk cargos such as animal feed, fertilisers and cereals, saw increases throughout the year.
Commenting on Bantry Bay Port Company, Brendan Keating, chief executive said: ‘In August 2017, we successfully completed and opened Bantry Harbour Marina, part of the inner harbour development. This new sheltered harbour facility will be of great benefit to both commercial and leisure users bringing increased activity to Bantry Harbour and Town. The cruise business has doubled, with 10 cruise liners expected to call in 2018.’
Following the announcement by Brittany Ferries of their new twice weekly Ro-Pax route from Cork to Santander to commence in April, Mr Keating added: ‘In 2018 Brittany Ferries celebrate 40 years operating in Ireland and we are very pleased with the announcement of this new route, both in terms of tourism and trade. The current weekly route from Cork to Roscoff continues to strengthen, with Brittany Ferries carrying over 80,000 passengers in 2017 and we look forward with great optimism to additional passengers availing of Brittany Ferries’ new service and the second call to Roscoff per week.’