18 October 2022
By Tom Collins
Over 115,000 passengers on 90 Cruise Ships were welcomed to Cork this year
After the greatly anticipated return of the cruise sector earlier this year, the season now draws to an end as the Port of Cork Company welcomes the final cruise vessel, the MS Borealis today on the 18th of October 2022.
The cruise liner industry is estimated to contribute €70 million to the national economy and on average €14 million per year to local economies such as Cork.
Returning to near pre-pandemic levels, a total of 90 cruise ships docked in the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port this year, welcoming over 115,000 passengers to Cork.
This season, some Covid-19 precautions and procedures remained in place, with many ships operating at 75% capacity. The Port of Cork had planned 100 cruise ships per year pre-Covid.
Speaking at the final call of the season, Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company stated, “The cruise sector plays a crucial role in the country’s tourism and hospitality industries and we were delighted to see it return this year to a great degree of success. We made many strides in rebuilding the sector to pre-pandemic levels and the outlook for 2023 is even more positive – with in excess of 100 vessels scheduled to call to the Port of Cork so far.”
Johanna Murphy, President of Cobh and Harbour Chamber added, “It has been a wonderful boost to the town of Cobh and the local harbour community to welcome the return of cruise liners this season. The atmosphere in the town when a ship is in is just electric – not only from the influx of passengers on board visiting Cobh, but from the many people who visit from all over the country to see these ships up close. It has been especially beneficial for Cobh tourism and trade.”
A highlight of the season was the MSC VIRTUOSA, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, which made its maiden call on the 29th of September. Spanning 331 metres in length and weighing 181,541 tonnes the MSC VIRTUOSA was the largest vessel to dock in Cork this year and has the capacity to carry 6,300 passengers and 1,700 crew on board.
The MS Borealis cruise ship is due to dock quayside in Cobh Cruise Terminal at 10:00am and is scheduled to depart at 17:00pm on October 18th 2022.
For more information and to keep up to date with the cruise schedule, please visit www.portofcork.ie/cruise