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Dublin Bay Port's First Cruise Liner of 2015 Season Calls

16th March 2015
Dublin Bay Port's First Cruise Liner of 2015 Season Calls

#CruiseLiners- Azores became the first cruiseship in 2015 to Dublin Port yesterday out of around 85 calls this season, while a further 22 such ships calling for Dun Laoghaire Harbour, are mostly to anchor offshore, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This year's first seasonal arrival to Dublin Port saw Azores call from the UK while on charter to Cruise & Maritime Voyages. The 550 passenger ship is on a cruise bound for Iceland having departed Avonmouth, (the cruise port for Bristol) from where she had completed a Norwegian fjords cruise.

Both Dublin Bay ports are expecting to follow the success of previous years. Dublin Port in 2014 alone handled over 135,000 passengers and crew visiting the capital city which generated a major economic boost of €50 million. This season the port is to welcome some very large callers, among them Caribbean Princess, Queen Victoria and Norwegian Star.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour is set to achieve significant growth as also previously reported on, compared to the last four seasons, which started off, with just one-cruiseship, the 48-passenger Quest, but in 2015 there will be a major bumper season totalling 22 callers.

The inaugural caller to Dun Laoghaire will also be the biggest (in passenger capacity) when Splendida calls on May 15th and again on the 21st of that same month. The massive 137,000 tonnes ship operated by MSC Cruises has 3,900 passengers and 1,346 crew is also scheduled to make a third call at the end of August.

The south Dublin Bay port will also welcome notable large-sized anchorage callers, among them the return of Queen Mary 2, albeit a once-off call on 20th May.

Before the Cunard Line 'flagship''s visit, Princess Cruises impressive Royal Princess (see Belfast visit) will make a debut call to Dun Laoghaire. A sister, albeit P&O Cruises 143,000 tonnes Brittania, the largest ever cruisehip built exclusively for the UK market, is to make her first arrival off Dun Laoghaire in July.

The 3,647 passenger capacity and 1,350 crew of Britannia made her maiden call to her homeport of Southampton earlier this month. As mentioned above, the newbuild in July is to make an inaugural UK & Ireland cruise which includes the call to Dun Laoghaire. 

If every cruiseship is assumed to have full capacity and all passengers go ashore then Dun Laoghaire can expect some 63,237 tourists over the course of the 2015 season. In addition to all ship's crew numbers this figure would be boosted by over 25,000 bringing potentially 88,282 in total visitors.

The rising boom in the cruise industry and the issue of accomodating increasingly large cruiseships has led to Dublin Port to propose plans to build a dedicated cruise terminal closer the city-centre. At Dun Laoghaire Harbour, there are plans to build a facility, given the demise of Stena HSS operations on the route to Holyhead that closed last year. 



Published in Cruise Liners
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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