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#BusyCork - Cork's economy writes the Evening Echo, is set to be boosted by cruiseships bringing almost 20,000 passengers and crew expected in a 10-day period.

Port of Cork officials estimate that 13,500 passengers and 5,000 crew will pass through Cobh in a 10-day period, beginning with yesterday’s arrival of the MSC Splendida. The longest cruise ship to ever visit Irish shores (including Dublin Port), at 333 metres llong, brought some 4,600 passengers and crew to Cobh.

The luxurious liner, which has more than a dozen bars and lounges along with four swimming pools, a spa, Turkish baths, squash courts and a Formula 1 simulator across its 18 decks, will return to Cobh next weekend.

In the interim, a further five vessels will dock at Cobh’s cruise terminal. The town will welcome more than 50 ships in total this year, with the cruise liner season running until December 19, bringing a multi-million euro boost to the local economy.

For more on the story, click here.

Afloat.ie has listed the cruise ship list for beyond the next 10 days to include further callers to the end May. Note that not all the cruiseships will berth at Cobh Cruise Terminal but throughout Cork Habour.

For updates to schedules click here. 

Cruiseship                       Pass Total.       Arrives           Berth                Departs
 
SERENADE OF THE SEAS 2500 May 9th at 08:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 9th at 18:00
 
CARIBBEAN PRINCESS 3592 May 10th at 07:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 10th at 18:00
 
CELEBRITY ECLIPSE 3129 May 12th at 09:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 12th at 19:00
 
AZORES 580 May 13th at 10:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 13th at 18:00
 
LE BOREAL 264 May 14th at 07:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 14th at 18:00
 
MSC SPLENDIDA 4363 May 15th at 11:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 15th at 20:00
 
L'AUSTRAL 264 May 16th at 10:30 North Custom House Quay May 16th at 17:30
 
EUROPA 408 May 18th at 07:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 18th at 23:59
 
BALMORAL 1400 May 18th at 12:30 Ringaskiddy DWB May 18th at 23:00
 
CARIBBEAN PRINCESS 3592 May 22nd at 07:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 22nd at 18:00
 
MEIN SCHIFF 2114 May 28th at 06:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 28th at 18:00
 
CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE 3129 May 29th at 09:00 Cobh Cruise Terminal May 29th at 20:00

 

Published in Port of Cork

#CorksCubaCoup - A major coup for the Port of Cork has been achieved in landing a potentially lucrative spot on the first direct freight shipping service from northern Europe to Cuba since economic sanctions were removed on the Caribbean country.

The Irish Examiner writes that Danish shipping giant Maersk — the world’s largest container carrier — began its first ever connection between northern European ports and Cuba last Friday, promising the fastest freight transit times between Europe and the Cuban port of Mariel.

The service will link the ports of Bremerhaven in Germany, Rotterdam, Tilbury in the UK and Cork to Mariel and onto Panama.

Earlier this month, the MV Northern Dedication (pictured above) docked in Port of Cork’s deepwater berth at Ringaskiddy, which Afloat reported on the largest container ship ever to arrive in any Irish port. This forms a weekly scheduled call from Central America to Cork and sees the delivery to Ireland of 75 containers of fresh fruit, mainly comprising Fyffes bananas.

Also this month, Maersk has acted on rising demand from Irish-based customers by starting a new direct service between Dublin and Algeciras in Spain. 

For more on the new Cuba service, click here.

 

Published in Port of Cork

At a ceremony in the Port of Cork boardroom this week Chairman of the Port of Cork John Mullins announced Scoil Barra Naofa from Monkstown as the winners of ‘Best Overall Project’ in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative 2016. The schools initiative theme ‘A Day in the Life of a Cruise Passenger Visiting Cork Harbour’ saw twenty seven primary schools from across Cork submit a project. Scoil Barra Naofa made a tremendous effort, cross stitching a wonderful display of tourist attractions around Cork.

A prize for ‘Best Artwork’ was given to Glasheen Boys School for their excellent effort which used a method of wood carving called fretting.

Port of Cork Chairman John Mullins reminded all participating classes that as well as receiving a certificate of participation, every class will be treated to a high speed, fun filled boat trip around Cork Harbour, compliments of the Port of Cork. As an extra special prize, best overall winners Scoil Barra Naofa will go on board a cruise liner in May for a tour of the ship.

Speaking about the schools initiative, the Chairman of the Port of Cork John Mullins said; ‘Massive congratulations to all the participating primary schools and a huge thank you to all the 5th class teachers who put in time and effort into their project.’

He continued: ‘This year’s theme focused on the cruise liner business and in particular encouraged children to understand and appreciate how important tourism is to the Cork region. The standard among the schools was exceptionally high this year and every participating class should be extremely proud of their achievement.’

The Port of Cork Schools Initiative aims to educate 5th class primary school children not only about the Port of Cork but most importantly about Cork Harbour, its rich maritime history and the trade and business connections. The initiative is run annually and this year is the eleventh year of the Port of Cork Schools Initiative.

All projects are currently on display at the Cobh Maritime Building, located on the platform at Cobh Railway Station. Cobh Maritime Building is open to the public daily from 11am to 4pm.

Published in Cork Harbour

The commitment and effort of the Cobh Tidy Town volunteers in maintaining the landscape of Cobh town was acknowledged by the Port of Cork today when they handed over the keys to a small pickup truck. The truck will enable the Cobh Tidy Towns team to improve their service within the area and carry out bigger clean up and landscaping jobs around the town. As well as carrying tools and equipment used for clean ups, grass cutting and tending to flower displays, the truck will also be used to transport the rubbish collected by the tidy towns team which up until now was being put into the back of volunteers’ cars.

The Port of Cork is very proud of the Cobh Tidy Towns team, who go to great lengths to ensure the positive image of Cobh Town is maintained for locals and visitors, many of whom are visiting by cruise ship.

Brendan Keating, Chief Executive of the Port of Cork who officially handed over the keys of the truck said: “Cobh Tidy Towns have been working to create a positive change in Cobh for many years and we believe they have achieved their goals. Cobh Tidy Town works tirelessly to ensure the town looks in great shape all year round and we know the appearance of the town can leave a lasting impression for visitors and is so important when aiming to attract new visitors and return visitors.”

He continued: “The Port of Cork is proud to acknowledge the team effort of the volunteers and we hope the truck will show our appreciation to the team and also make the day to day operations a lot easier.”

Cobh won its first bronze medal in the National Tidy Towns competition in 2011, placing it at 103 in the country. A silver medal win in 2012, 2013 and 2014 was followed by a Gold Medal win for Cobh in 2015.

Ruth Ring, Chairperson of Cobh Tidy Towns said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this truck from the Port of Cork today. We are so proud of Cobh and we work with the community to ensure our town looks at its best all year round. Thanks to the generosity of the Port of Cork our volunteers will be able to work more efficiently to keep Cobh a beautiful place to live in, work in and to visit”

Published in Port of Cork

Fred Olsen Cruise Line will open the Port of Cork’s cruise liner season with the arrival of MV Balmoral and her 1800 passengers and crew to Cobh Cruise Terminal on Friday 1st April. This is the first of 58 liners scheduled to call in 2016. In total over 100,000 passengers and crew will arrive in the region between April and December, with some liners calling for the first time to Cobh and others on repeat visits. Princess Cruises’, MV Caribbean Princess will make ten visits to Cobh in 2016.

In 2015 the Port of Cork invested €1.5 million in upgrading the current facilities at Cobh Cruise Terminal, Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth. The investment included installation of a number of high load mooring bollards at the east and west end of the Cobh Cruise Berth which will enable larger ships to be berthed.

Commercial Manager at the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy said: “ We are pleased with the number of calls for 2016 and the fact that we have some new customers this year, shows more and more cruise companies are considering Cobh as part of their cruising route.’

He continued: “Following the investment last year, the Port of Cork can now accommodate the larger liners or Quantum class ships without any restrictions. It is our ambition as a port company to attract these ships and increase our cruise calls to 75 per year over the next three years.’

The cruise business in Cork contributes over €4million annually to the local economy, which is a welcome boost for business in Cork City, Cork County, East Cork and West Cork.

In 2016 Bantry Bay Port Company will welcome three cruise liners to the area, one of which, MV Albatross, will call to Bantry followed by Cobh. This shows the connection between the ports and the joined up promotion of both regions to the cruise companies.

Published in Cruise Liners

#2ndCruiseBerth - The feasibility of building a second cruise berth in Cobh is been explored by the Port of Cork, which would greatly enhance Cork’s ability to attract more liners, reports The Evening Echo.

The port’s commercial manager, Michael McCarthy, said the option was part of a strategy to grow visitor numbers to Cork city and county.

The port is determined to attract more cruise liners to Cobh, and has launched of a campaign to promote Cork Harbour as a destination for US visitors.

The port launched a travel brochure of the region as reported earlier this month on Afloat, during the cruise industry’s premier showcase event, Seatrade Cruise Global, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The event was attended by officials from the port.

The event brings together cruise lines, suppliers, travel agents, and others. The Port of Cork attended as an exhibitor on the Cruise Ireland and Cruise Europe stand. For more on this story, click here.

Afloat adds that US passengers for the first time in over 50 years will have the option to make historic cruises to Cuba. A new offshoot of P&O Cruises, 'fathom' are to operate from Florida at the Port of Miami to Cuba as previously reported last year.

Fathom is the first cruise ship company to be granted US approval for round-trip travel between the U.S. and multiple destinations in Cuba.

Published in Port of Cork

#PortOfCork - Next Wednesday 23 March is the closing date for tenders for the €100 million redevelopment of the Port of Cork's Ringaskiddy port, according to The Irish Times.

Plans for a new container shipping terminal at the Cork Harbour site are already backed by €30 million in funding from the European Investment Bank, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And the development, which would allow for larger container vessels, is expected to "future-proof Cork as an international gateway for trade", said Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating after planning permission was granted last summer following a series of delays.

In other Ringaskiddy news, Marine Minister Simon Coveney has thrown his weight behind local opposition to proposals for a new waste incinerator, as the Irish Examiner reports.

“I think it’s not consistent with what we’re trying to do in the harbour area," said the minister in reference to Indaver's plans for at least one incinerator on Cork Harbour – a situation discussed in depth by Tom McSweeney in his 17 February This Island Nation column.

Published in Port of Cork

The Port of Cork is set to attend Seatrade Cruise Global, the Cruise Industry’s Premier Global event next week in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Seatrade Cruise Global is one of the key events in the cruise calendar and guarantees to bring together every facet of the business including cruise lines, suppliers, travel agents and partners. The Port of Cork will attend as an exhibitor on the Cruise Ireland and Cruise Europe stand, increasing the profile of the Port of Cork and the Cork region.

Captain Michael McCarthy, Port of Cork Commercial Manager, who will attend the global event said: ‘This event is without doubt the epicentre of the cruise industry and so maintaining recognition at this event is key to Cork’s future cruise strategy. Some of the industry’s most knowledgeable delegates will attend and speak at the conference, so networking opportunities are substantial.’

He continued: ‘The Port of Cork’s cruise strategy for the next five years will focus on promoting the region and all it has to offer to potential cruise passengers, as well as expanding our business. Our relationship with the cruise lines is excellent and they are very aware of what the port can handle in terms of ship size. Our challenge now is to make sure the cruise companies know exactly what there is to see and do for their passengers while visiting Cork and that is why we will be marketing the Cork City and County region at Seatrade Cruise Global.’

In 2016 the Port of Cork will welcome 58 cruise liners to Cobh and over the next five years aims to increase these calls to 75. The Port of Cork is currently exploring the feasibility of a second cruise berth in Cobh, which would greatly enhance Cork’s cruise offering. This global cruise event is a key opportunity to further sell Cork as a cruise destination and to interact and liaise with the key decision makers within cruise companies.

Captain McCarthy is also the current chairman of Cruise Europe and says having a presence at these trade events is vital to sell your business.

He said: ‘The cruise industry is a difficult industry to enter, but once you do you must work hard at maintaining relationships and keeping informed of the opportunities and threats to the industry. It’s important for any port to ensure their cruise offering is kept alive and fresh, as with many cruise companies some passengers are repeat passengers who want to experience something different and new on every cruise.’

One of the main topics at the conference this year at which Captain McCarthy is a speaker is “Seasonality and Deployment” and he will be emphasising the opportunities of expanding the cruise season in northern Europe. The topics covered will relate to ship design and suitability, climate and weather and port and regional tourism products over the winter period. The session will debate the tourism offering in winter versus summer and include topics such as Christmas markets and winter sports and events throughout our region.

The Port of Cork will take the opportunity at Seatrade Cruise Global to launch their new cruise brochure aimed at marketing the Cork region.

Published in Port of Cork

#Expansion - The Port of Cork is set to gain €30m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to development the country's biggest natural harbour.

The project, with the Port of Cork as borrower, is currently going through an appraisal process with funding expected to be formally signed off later this year.

It will support an expansion of the Port of Cork's deep-water port in Ringaskiddy, which is expected to cost €88m in total. "The EIB expects to support the project later this year and this follows a €100m loan to the Port of Dublin agreed last December," a spokesman for the European Union's bank said.

For more see yesterday's Irish Independent here.

Published in Port of Cork

#BantryUpgrade - Following a public tender process, BAM Civil Ltd has been appointed as the main contractor by Bantry Bay Port Company to undertake the new Bantry Inner Harbour Development, as reported earlier today on Afloat.ie.

This development marks the start of the regeneration of Bantry inner harbour which is in keeping with the total Inner Harbour Development scheme which was developed by the Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners in 2012.

With phase 1 of the project expected to cost in the region of €8.5 million, funding for the project has been made available from the Port of Cork Company, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and from previous funds carried over from Bantry Harbour Commissioners.

As well as providing a more sheltered harbour environment and marina with increased water depth, the development will also see the pier facilities improved and a new quayside area which will support and promote fishing and tourism activities in the Bantry area.

With construction expected to commence in late February/early March 2016, Bantry Bay Port Company is hoping to complete the development by Q3 2017.

Speaking at the announcement in Bantry, Bantry Bay Port Company and Port of Cork chairman John Mullins said: "BAM Civil is the largest civil engineering and public works contractor in Ireland and Bantry Bay Port Company is very excited to be working with them on the new inner harbour development."

Also attending the announcement was Brendan Keating, CEO of the Port of Cork and director of Bantry Bay Port, who said: "This is without doubt a big joint investment by Bantry Bay Port Company, the Port of Cork and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

"However, the benefits to the local area are second to none and we anticipate that this development will provide a critical kickstart for the marine leisure industry and we are confident it will attract more marine tourism to the Bantry area."

Once complete, the Bantry Inner Harbour Development will ensure vessels no longer lie aground when beside the pier. The quayside reclamation area will provide an increased foot print for marine-related activities, making the pier safer environment for all users.

The new 20-berth marina will provide improved berthage for local and visiting yachts to safely moor and access the town centre. Dredging will be carried out on the existing pier and new marina facilities, allowing access at all stages of the tide.

A new amenity area will also be developed in consultation with Cork County Council and the local community. And a full traffic and pedestrian mobility management plan will be implemented to ensure access to the pier is maintained at all times during the construction phase.

The announcement comes just months after the launch of the Bantry Blueway connecting the port with water trails of up to 9km for kayakers along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Published in Port of Cork
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