#CRUISE–LINERS – The arrival of the €350 million Grand Princess cruise ship marked the opening of the 2012 Cruise season on Dublin Bay early this morning (Wed) when the 290 metre long vessel arrived overnight from Scotland on her only trip to Dublin this Summer.
The ship docked in Dublin Port is alongside for one night only and carries almost 4,000 high spend passengers and over 1,000 crew members.
During the winter the ship underwent an overhaul including the removal of part of her superstructure to save weight as Afloat previously reported here.
The ship is the latest in cruise luxury with over 710 staterooms, an on-board shopping mall, cinema, a range of restaurant facilities, casino, swimming pools and a nine hole golf putting course.
The cruise sector has become a hugely important part of the city's tourism product since Dublin Port Company first targeted this trade in the mid 1990s.
A Dublin Port Pilot vessel escorts the Grand Princess into Dublin Bay
The Port Company estimates that cruise liners have contributed over €350 million to the city in the last decade.
The Port Company first targeted this trade in the mid 1990s. It is estimated that cruise liners have contributed over €350 million to the city in the last decade alone so Dublin Port Company is pleased to have played its role in attracting this business for the city.
Dublin Port Company recently announced it will invest €110m over the next five years implementing projects under its Masterplan 2012-2040 for future development at Dublin Port. Among the major projects identified in the Masterplan is the construction of a new cruise facility adjacent to the east of the East Link Bridge to accommodate the growing number of passengers and cruise ships coming to Dublin each season, bringing high spending passengers and crew within easy reach of the Luas, city centre shops, eateries and attractions.
The Grand Princess passes Poolbeg light on her way up the river Liffey and into Dublin city
To progress the project, Dublin Port Company has formed Cruise Dublin, a joint initiative with Dublin City Council and Dublin Chamber of Commerce aimed at further developing the cruise tourism trade in Dublin. A study of the needs of the cruise industry and best practice elsewhere on how a suitable cruise terminal can be provided in Dublin is currently underway. The estimated cost of the development is €30 million. This study will be concluded later this month with a view to having a cruise terminal in place by 2015.
The 290 metre long cruise liner arrives at her berth dwarfing the Irish Ferries ship Ulysses
Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company said, "Dublin Port is already the largest gateway for cruise visitors to Ireland and with 1.7 million ferry passengers moving through the port, is behind only Dublin Airport and Cork Airport as a national tourism hub. We have a fantastic offering here with a growing reputation internationally as the go-to city for high end cruise calls. Our location at the heart of Dublin beside the city's shops, restaurants and bars, as well as proximity to the airport make Dublin Port a very attractive destination for major cruise liner operators. We're delighted to have secured 90 cruises for 2012 and with our new joint initiative, Cruise Dublin, committed to increasing this valuable trade for Dublin in the best way possible."
Read more about Cruise liners and cruise liner visits to Ireland