#portofcork – Cobh Confraternity Brass and Reed Band were in Cobh today tuning up ahead of the Port of Cork’s busy cruise–liner season. The band plays on the quayside for every cruise vessel, which gives the passengers a fond farewell on the quayside and lasting memory of their visit. This year the Port of Cork will welcome 54 cruise ships to the port and despite the number of calls being slightly lower than 2013, the cruise vessels calling in 2014 are larger and have higher passenger volumes. The trend in the cruise sector is to replace smaller less efficient vessels with larger more efficient ones and in 2014 the Port of Cork anticipates 108,000 passengers and 30,000 crew will visit the Cork region.
The Port of Cork has two main objectives over the next five years, to grow the number of cruise calls and increase turn-around calls and overnight stays. The Port of Cork is also aiming to handle the new Quantum Class vessels of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and to this affect it is committed to investing in upgrading the current cruise facilities in Cobh. These ultra large and modern vessels carry almost 5,000 passengers and no other Port in Ireland will be able to dock these vessels, giving Cork a greater advantage when attracting new calls. Even though the cost of upgrading the current facility in Cobh is very significant, the Port of Cork is committed to the cruise sector due to its considerable financial benefit to the local economy and the Munster region in general.
Speaking about the 2014 Cruise Season, Commercial Manager at the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy said: “We have 54 cruise liners calling in 2014 which will bring another welcome boost by injecting an estimated €15 million into the local economy. Of these calls, three are maiden calls including Princess Cruise’s newest ship, MV Royal Princess, carrying 3,500 passengers. This cruise vessel is 330 metres in length (over 3 times the length of Thomond Park) and this is the size and style of ship we hope to continue to attract to Cobh. With 15 vessels of a similar size scheduled for 2015 already, the Port is committed to investing in the upgrade of our current facilities in Cobh and assessing the requirement of additional facilities as the cruise sector expands.”
He continued: “This year we also delighted to have Cunard’s Queen Victoria in Cobh and on the same day, Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess will be in Ringaskiddy bringing a total of over 5,000 cruise passengers to the area in one day.”
MV Legend of the Seas will arrive at Cobh Cruise Berth on Saturday 26th April 2014 at 8am and will depart at 6pm.