In 2018, there were 150 cruise ship calls. This year there will be over 160 and, for 2020, there are 140 bookings already.
Because of the huge growth in cargo volumes (36% in the six years to 2018) and the impact of the major programme of capital works in Dublin Port (€1 billion from 2019 to 2028) it is necessary for Dublin Port Company (DPC) to introduce a system to better balance the allocation of berths for essential year-round cargo services and for seasonal cruise ships.
Since the 1980s, Dublin Port has provided considerable financial support from its own resources to develop cruise tourism to the capital.
The effect of this new policy will be to restrict the annual number of cruise ships in Dublin Port to about 80 starting in 2021. This is the same level of cruise ship activity in Dublin Port in 2010.
If Dublin Port is to cater for large numbers of cruise ships (in excess of 200) in the future, new berths will have to be constructed at North Wall Quay Extension (see photo), adjacent to the Tom Clark Bridge. This will require co-financing and / or long-term financial guarantees from cruise lines.
This requirement for part-funding is set out in Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2040.
Long-term Cruise Capacity
DPC has commissioned an economic cost benefit analysis from Indecon / Bermello Ajamil. This is due to be completed by mid-year. Based on this analysis, DPC will engage with stakeholders to determine their willingness to support the required investment.