Onboard the 52 cruise liners were a total of 100, 414 passengers and crew, a record number to visit Cork.
Following the Port of Cork’s investment in Cobh’s dedicated cruise berth over the last five years, some of the largest liners in the world are now capable of berthing, bringing with them thousands of passengers and crew, all of whom contribute to the local economy. With a ambitious target to grow the cruise business even further, the Port of Cork are aiming to increase the number of cruise liner calls over the next five years to seventy-five.
Speaking at a recent Port of Cork cruise seminar entitled Achievement of growth in the cruise business in Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork Commercial Manager said: ‘We are keen to grow the business even more over the next five years. This will mean further investment of Cobh Cruise berth from the Port of Cork to handle even larger ships and to increase the number of current overnight stays.’
He continued: ‘While the Port of Cork is committed to investment in this area we recognise that the region is the biggest benefactor from this business and we would therefore encourage the local authorities and organisations to support this investment.’
In a recent study carried out by UK cruise consultants, GP Wild, the on average spend per in-transit passenger is approximately €73 per day while in port. Captain McCarthy commented: ‘With so many passengers arriving into Cobh and Cork, the impact that this has on the local economy is very positive.’
During the cruise seminar Captain McCarthy talked about Cork’s potential as a cruise capital saying that: ‘Feedback from cruise companies visiting Cork is very positive. Direct access to the quayside for passengers coupled with the accessibility of trains to Cork and the historic town of Cobh and its attractions on their doorstep, makes Cobh an attractive port of call. However tour operators and shore side attractions must all work together to offer passengers exciting full and half day tours, while also making it a memorable experience so that they may return.’
Also speaking at the Port of Cork cruise seminar was Clare Newman Port of Dover, Paul Ellerby UK Cruise Consultant and Aiden Pender Failte Ireland.
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 2011 have already exceeded 2010 calls and potentially could be the busiest yet for the Port of Cork.