#CorkCruiseTrio – This season the Port of Cork will welcome 54 cruise ships throughout Cork Harbour, among them three cruiseships calling simultaneously next Thursday, writes Jehan Ashmore.
So what callers are we to expect in this trio line-up, they are listed below as follows. For further details click the highlighted name of each cruiseship.
Sea Cloud II (2001/3,849grt) Flag: Malta Operator: Sea Cloud Cruises Passengers: 94 Crew: 65
MSC Magnifica (2010/92,128grt) Flag: Panama Operator: MSC Cruises Passengers: 2,500 Crew: 1,000
Aidacara (1996/38,557grt) Flag: German Operator: Aida Cruises
The total number of callers this year has slightly dipped than those visiting in 2013, though cruise vessels calling this summer are larger including newbuild Royal Princess of 141,000 tonnes. Overall this trend has resulted in an increase in passenger capacity of between 3,000-4,000.
It is estimated that 108,000 passengers and some 30,000 crew will be calling to the various cruise berths in Cork Harobur and bring an economic windfall of around €15m.
In recent years Cobh has been visited by increasingly larger and efficient vessels. Another trend is the developing demand for turn-around calls and overnight stays.
Due to the above combination of larger cruiseships and capacity demands, the Port of Cork are planning to handle even bigger vessels than the current Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines ships with the arrival of the giant new 'Quantum' class newbuilds of approximately 167,000 tonnes.
These ultra-large ships carry almost 5,000 passengers each and the Port of Cork will be the only port of call on the island of Ireland capable of handling such ships when they enter service.
In order to facilitate larger cruiseships docking in Cobh, it is understood that two ships will be able to berth together.
To meet this goal, the costs involved to upgrade Cobh are significant, though the Port of Cork Company remain committed.
Such an investment to the development of the Irish cruise sector is claimed to be of considerable financial return to the local economy and that of the Munster region.