#CobhUpgrade – Cobh Cruise Terminal which is undergoing phase one of a €1.5m upgrade as previously reported on Afloat.ie is to be completed in advance of the first cruise caller for this season, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The dedicated cruise-berth facility in lower Cork Harbour is to receive Princess Cruises new Regal Princess of 141,000 tonnes next Saturday.
Cobh in the future expects to handle even larger cruiseships with the mega Royal Carribean Lines 'Quantum' class but not until at least 2017.
Regal Princess is the newest of a trio built for Carnival Corporation, with Royal Princess already in service since 2013 and also making her debut only last month was Britannia.
The Italian built Regal Princess is to berth alongside the deepwater quay and she is one out of a 55 cruise liners scheduled to call to Cork in 2015.
Of that total, 10 are maiden calls and 20 of which will be carrying in excess of 3,000 passengers.
In 2014, the number of calls was just down by two to 53 cruiseships bringing more than 83,000 passengers and 35,000 crew.
Currently, RCI's Independence of the Seas is the largest cruiseship ever accommodated in terms of tonnage (154,000) and passengers (4,300) which made a debut call to Cobh in 2007.
The cruise-liner Queen Mary 2 of 148,000 tonnes is the longest cruise liner that Cobh has handled. This year the Port of Cork are scheduled to expect over 20 cruiseships greater than 320 metres in length.
Phase two of the Cobh quay upgrade is due to be completed at the end of the 2015 cruise season.
The upgrade will see the installation of a number of high-load mooring bollards at the east and west end of the Cobh Cruise Berth.
This will enable Cobh as alluded above to ultimately accommodate RCI's mega 'Quantum' class, the largest cruiseships operating in Europe.
The second in the class the 168,000 tonnes Anthem of the Seas was named in a ceremony yesterday in Southampton. She can handle almost 5,000 passengers and is 347 metres long.