#ChargesWaived - Shipping lines have been notified by Rosslare Harbour that it is to waive charges for cruise ships for 2017, 2018 and 2019. The initiative is to establish the south-east as a destination for what is Europe’s fastest growing tourism sector.
This follows the success of the arrival of the Fred Olsen Lines’ MS Braemar in July of this year, which was the first cruise ship to call to Rosslare in 20 years. Feedback from cruise passengers and crew was excellent, from the ease of arrangements with the Europort to the programme of activities and the warm welcome from representatives of Wexford County Council and Fáilte Ireland, supported by Visit Wexford
John Lynch, General Manager Rosslare Europort said “up to 400,000 tourists visited Ireland on cruises this year, and it is a sector which continues to grow rapidly. Europe-wide, the cruise industry contributed over €40 billion to European economies, supporting 350,000 jobs.
“We believe – and customers from MS Braemar agreed – that Wexford and the South-East provide a destination which would be an excellent inclusion in any cruise itinerary visiting Ireland. By waiving charges, and working with local authority and tourism colleagues on the Working Group I established to develop new cruise business for the Europort, we are confident we can build a consistent and sustainable business which will bring tourists, profile and, crucially, employment and income to the South-East.
“We are fortunate at Rosslare that not only do we have the capacity to operate as a busy commercial port, but we are also situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty and rich cultural heritage and I believe that there will be many more Cruise Ships that will want to explore the wonders of Wexford and the South East.
“Our waiving of charges is a first step – we want to establish long-term relationships with the many cruise line companies operating in Europe which will support the Europort and the region into the future.”
Since 2008, European cruise capacity has grown by 44%, a trend which shows no sign of abating.
Customers on the MS Braemar had availed of pre-arranged excursions throughout the Wexford Region including scenic drives and walks, and visits to Tintern Abbey, Wells House, Kilmore Quay, the Irish National Heritage Park and the Dunbrody Famine Ship in New Ross.