HomeTravel NewsFirst Cruise Liner Of The Year Arrives In Cork

First Cruise Liner Of The Year Arrives In Cork

The commencement of this year’s tourist season has been marked by the arrival of the first cruise liner, The Ambience, at the port of Cork in Cobh, eliciting a warm welcome from local tourism representative groups. More than 90 cruise liners are set to visit the picturesque seaside town of Cobh this summer, which is expected to boost tourism and generate millions for the local economy. This is a significant increase in visitors, with over 100,000 tourists from Europe and North America now frequently making Cobh their first port of call. Cobh and Harbour Chamber president, Johanna Murphy, has hailed the cruise ships as a “game changer” for tourism, with a festival atmosphere in the streets as visitors from far and wide fill bars, restaurants, and hotels, or take the train to Cork city. On ship days, the population of Cobh can swell many times over with the addition of passengers, crew, and spectators who come to view the gigantic vessels.

During the cruise season, which runs until late October, dozens of vessels carrying between 2,000 and 5,000 passengers each are expected to visit. “The town comes alive and it’s like a festival down here any day a liner is in,” Ms Murphy said. “The fact that the train runs every half an hour is fantastic.”

The national economy is estimated to receive €70m from the cruise liner industry, while local economies like Cork receive an average of €14m per year. The 2022 cruise season saw the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay Port welcome back 90 cruise ships and over 115,000 passengers, approaching pre-pandemic levels. One of the highlights of last year’s cruise season was the maiden call of the MSC Virtuosa, which is one of the largest cruise ships in the world, measuring 331m-long. Nineteen maiden calls were made to Cork last season, with the Emerald Princess being the most frequent visitor, calling at the port 13 times.

“A lot of Americans and Europeans come here. Anyone in Cobh will say, all the shops are busy when the liners come in. The passenger and the crew are buying memorabilia, they’re buying shirts, trousers, dresses,” added Ms Murphy.

Helen Murphy of the Cork Business Association commented: “It really is looking to be a very bright and busy summer for Cork City, especially for the restaurants and cafes in town, with cruise ships coming into Cobh. I think there will be a lot of traffic through Cork Airport too.”

Stephen Aherne
Stephen Aherne
A graduate of Multimedia in DCU, Stephen has previously worked as a production assistant on several TV shows and as cinematographer on an award winning short film. He is passionate about content creation, particularly film and photography.

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