#cruiseliner – A $250million luxury cruise liner, the 59,000 tonne, 251 metre "MSC Lirica" with almost 3,000 passengers and crew on board sailed into Dublin Port at 7am this morning on her maiden call to Ireland. The MSC Lirica, carrying passengers mainly from Germany, Austria, Spain, France and Italy, boasts an array of luxurious facilities including swimming pools, health spa, Turkish baths, nightclub and cabaret, theatre, casino, bars, restaurants and shopping.
Her arrival marks the first of two cruise calls to Dublin secured by Dublin Port Company with leading cruise company MSC Cruises. MSC Lirica will return to Dublin on 25th August as part of Dublin Port Company's 90-strong cruise liner schedule for 2012 and ongoing efforts to attract this valuable tourism business to the city. In addition, Dublin Port Company will welcome two further new cruise calls from MSC Cruises with the arrival of the $547million, 294 metre "MSC Magnifica" cruise ship already scheduled to make her maiden call to Dublin Port in May 2013.
The arrival of these luxury cruise ships generates a significant boost to Dublin of between €35 and €50 million for the local economy, bringing over 100,000 high spend passengers and crew to the city and surrounding areas' shops, attractions and eateries each year.
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. 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 and developing this growing business for the city.
Dublin Port Company's Masterplan 2012-2040 identified the construction of a new cruise facility adjacent to the east of the East Link Bridge as one of a number of major projects for development within the next five years at a total investment of €110 million. The dedicated cruise terminal will enable Dublin Port to accommodate growing cruise passenger numbers and larger vessels within easy reach of the Luas and city centre.
To progress the project, Dublin Port Company is preparing to launch "Cruise Dublin", a joint initiative with Dublin City Council and Dublin Chamber of Commerce to further the cruise tourism trade in Dublin, as well as the findings of a study on how a suitable cruise terminal can be provided in Dublin with a view to having the new cruise terminal in place by 2015.
Mr. Eamonn O'Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company said, "Dublin Port Company is delighted to welcome MSC Lirica on her maiden call to Ireland as one of 90 luxury cruise liners scheduled to call in Dublin this year. We're in the heart of Dublin and developing a strong reputation as the go-to city for high end cruise calls thanks to our proximity to Dublin's shops, eateries and tourist attractions, as well as Dublin airport. The addition of MSC Cruises to Dublin Port's cruise liner schedule is testament to the fantastic offering here at Ireland's largest gateway for cruise visitors. We're already working to increase this valuable trade for Dublin in 2013 and the work of Cruise Dublin will help us to achieve this in the best possible way forward for the city."
Naoise Ó Muirí, Lord Mayor of Dublin, said, "It's fantastic to see Dublin developing a reputation as a world-class cruise tourism destination year on year. I congratulate Dublin Port Company on its efforts to secure the addition of MSC Cruises as part of its busy cruise schedule this year. The passengers of MSC Lirica can be assured of a warm welcome in Dublin, while our city's retailers, eateries and attractions will benefit immensely from the welcome boost to the local economy brought by these luxury vessels."