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The All-Ireland Cruise Ship Action Group will be appearing before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport today at 1.30pm.

The Group says it will be giving evidence on the impact the Dublin Port Company’s ban on cruise ships will have to the tourism industry, the cross-border economy and for local business in the port cities Cork, Belfast, Dublin and Waterford.

The Committee will also hear evidence on the background to the decision by Dublin Port Company to reduce the number of Cruise Ships coming into the capital.

Tune in at 1.30pm below to hear more.

Published in Dublin Port
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The first of 102 cruise liners MV Astoria will arrive into Cobh on Monday 1st April and officially commence the Port of Cork’s 2019 cruise season. Without doubt, 2019 will be a record year for the Port of Cork with the numbers of scheduled calls the highest the port has ever seen. Capable of handling some of the largest liners, carrying high volumes of passengers at their dedicated cruise berth in Cobh, the Port of Cork anticipates total passenger numbers to be 200,000 and 80,000 crew.

Fourteen cruise liners will make their maiden calls to the Port this season which is always encouraging, however, the number of repeat visits from cruise lines shows their dedication to Cobh.

The increased cruise calls to Cork are indicative of the wider global cruise business which has seen huge growth. In 2018 an estimated 27.2 million people took a cruise on over 450 cruise ships worldwide. With the global cruise ship order book for new build contracts reaching 113 ships between now and 2027, Cork cruise business is set to grow further in the coming years and the Port of Cork is eager to attract these new ships.

According to Conor Mowlds, Port of Cork Chief Commercial Officer, and recently appointed Chairman of Cruise Ireland, Cork’s profile has been raised significantly in recent years, due to a series of glowing reports in some of the world’s leading cruise travel journals. Surveys report a high degree of satisfaction among visitors with the regions natural amenities proving especially popular. Joined up thinking and collaboration of local authorities and tourism representatives working to promote the area has also greatly benefited the region.

Mr Mowlds said: “It is not as difficult to sell Cork as it was ten years ago and there is a much wider recognition of the Cork brand globally especially since the launch of the We Are Cork and Pure Cork brands. As we know, in order to successfully promote a city, it requires hard work from all parties involved and we will continue to work with Cork City and Cork County Council to promote and enhance the reputation of Cork globally.’

On average, cruise ship passengers spend €81 during their time in Cork; with 42% of this money being spent on shopping, 32% on excursion travel and 17% on food and drink. Typically crew spend approximately €29, with most of the money being spent on food and drink and/or shopping.

As well as Cobh the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which will see ten cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer. Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for active expedition cruises. Bantry Bay Port Company and the Port of Cork are currently developing a cruise strategy for Bantry in order to grow the business in West Cork.

Published in Port of Cork
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MV Astoria arrived into Cobh today, the first of 94 cruise liners to visit the Port of Cork in 2018, a 30% increase on 2017 calls. The Port of Cork anticipates with 94 cruise calls the total passenger numbers to be 188,844 and 80,000 crew.

Up to eight cruise liners will make their maiden calls to Cork, including Disney Cruise Lines ‘MV Disney Magic’ in September and the largest of the MSC Cruise Lines fleet, MSC Meraviglia carrying a maximum of 4,500 passengers. Royal Caribbean’s MV Royal Princess will call ten times in 2018.

In 2017 the Port of Cork carried out cruise research on both passengers and crew arriving into Cobh and Ringaskiddy. The aim of the research was to get a sense of passengers shore excursions experiences and to determine any areas are in need of improvement. According to the research results many passengers who take the pre-booked shore excursions reported high experiences, while the ‘independent’ passengers seem to be looking for alternative more active experiences in both the City and the County.

The results of the cruise research also highlighted an increase in passenger and crew spend. On average, cruise ship passengers spend €81 during their time in Cork; with 42% of this money being spent on shopping, 32% on excursion travel and 17% on food and drink. Typically crew spend approximately €29, with most of the money being spent on food and drink and/or shopping.

Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy said: ‘We have seen a massive surge in cruise calls for 2018 with a 30% increase in calls. These calls will bring outstanding economic growth to Cork City and County between March and September, with over 180,000 passengers stepping ashore and 80,000 crew.’ 

He continued: ‘We are absolutely delighted with the growth in the cruise sector and so far we are seeing a high volume of calls for 2019 also. It’s very encouraging to see cruise lines bringing their newest vessels to Cork on maiden calls and choosing Cobh as part of their cruising route.’

As well as Cork the Port of Cork also operates Bantry Bay Port Company which will see ten cruise liners calling to the West Cork area this summer. Bantry Harbour and Glengarriff can accommodate the smaller boutique cruise liners whose passengers tend to look for active expedition cruises. In 2017 just five liners called West Cork, showing a 50% increase in 2018 calls.

Published in Port of Cork

2019 is set to be an exciting year in the Irish cruise calendar as Celebrity Cruises confirms that Dublin Port will become a regular fixture. With five turnarounds in the port, Celebrity Refection will call Dublin home from May to June 2019.

In 2018 Celebrity Cruises becomes the first major cruise line to homeport a ship in the city when Celebrity Eclipse arrives in Dublin in April 2018, offering a mini season of five sailings. Due to the success of this inaugural season, Celebrity Cruises is continuing to feature Dublin as one of its prestigious homeports in 2019 and bringing a newer ship to Ireland. In 2019 over 15,000 holidaymakers will start their cruise holiday in Dublin with CelebrityCruises.

Celebrity Cruises will base the 3,030-guest Celebrity Reflection in Dublin in early summer 2019 offering a series of eight, 10, 11 and 12 night sailings. Cruises will sail to Iceland, destinations throughout Ireland, in the Norwegian Fjords and around the British Isles.

Celebrity Reflection launched in 2012 and is currently the newest ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet. Featuring a real grass lawn on the top deck with private cabanas and the luxurious Reflection Suite – a one-of-a-kind two bedroomed suite with a shower cantilevered out above the ocean, and private butler service – Celebrity Reflection is one of the most stylish ships at sea.

The exciting expansion of Celebrity Cruises’ Ireland programme follows strong guest demand for cruises from Dublin, and the support of the Irish travel industry including travel agents and Dublin Port.

Lorraine Quinn, head of sales, Ireland, Celebrity Cruises, explains: “Sailings starting in Ireland from Dublin Port have been popular with our guests from all over the world. We are really pleased with the performance of the 2018 season for Celebrity Eclipse, and our 2019 deployment of a slightly larger ship in Celebrity Reflection to Dublin sees an increase in the number of people who will sail from this great city. Confirming our ongoing commitment to Ireland is a huge thank you to those who have aided Celebrity Cruises in becoming the first major cruise line to base a cruise ship in Dublin. I can’t wait to be part of the huge welcome that our guests will receive in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”

Pat Ward, Head of Corporate Services, Dublin Port Company adds: “We are delighted that Celebrity Cruises has chosen Dublin as the homeport for the deluxe Celebrity Reflection during 2019 confirming Dublin City as a marquee destination for the world’s largest cruise lines. Celebrity Reflection, measuring 319m long and boasting 14 decks, will be one of the most impressive cruise ships to arrive into Dublin Port. Our location at the heart of the city means that guests can maximise their time in the capital, relaxing in one of our many fine hotels while taking in the city’s sights, shops and attractions with ease. Dublin Port’s cruise business is growing from strength to strength. We are already on track for a record year in 2018, and with work on our Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project having commenced, the future of cruise tourism to the capital is now secure.”

Both Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Reflection are part of Celebrity Cruises’ newest Solstice Class of ships, all introduced between 2008 and 2012. In addition to luxury guest accommodations, designer boutiques, extensive bars and restaurants, they also feature a real grass lawn on the top deck. With many awards particularly for its food and wine, Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest and rarest collection of wine at and sea and host of exclusive restaurants on-board all overseen by a Michelin-starred executive chef.

Celebrity Cruises continues to grow and expand its fleet with a new class of ship currently under construction. The first of those ships – Celebrity Edge – will enter service in December 2018.

Published in Dublin Port

For the second handicap race of the year, for The Buckingham Cup and The Wigham Trophy, the Dun Laoghaire Water Wags were discommoded by a 9,975 ton, 440ft long cruise liner, The Star Pride with her 208 passengers and 164 crew.

She was scheduled to leave the Carlisle Pier at 18.00hrs but there was an upset to her plans. Allegedly, a replacement part was required for her engines, which was being delivered from Dublin Port by car, leaving the latter venue at 18.00hrs. Instructions were conveyed to the Water Wags by Harbour Company officials. The reality was something different. At approx. 18.45hrs the tugboat Burfort arrived in Dun Laoghaire harbour joined by the Dublin Port harbour pilot. They set to work quickly, towed The Star Pride by the stern, until the liner was in the centre of the harbour. They then spun her, until the bow was pointing towards the harbour mouth.

The Wags quickly launched, the committee boat then laid a four-lap course with a start line near the marina entrance, and windward mark under the East Pier Lighthouse. The first Water wag to start was Nandor, followed half a minute later by Chloe, and Coquette, Polly and Scallywag two minutes later. Last to start after the passage of six minutes were Moosmie, Gavotte, Swift, Tortoise and Eva.
As the race developed the early starters merged with some of those faster boats attacking from behind. It soon became clear that the leaders, mother and daughter team of Kate & Amy O’Leary in Chloe and Mc Bride & McBean in Nandor were in for a great battle. A similar battle developed between Hal Sisk and Sue Westrup in Good Hope and Ian Magowan in the recently restored Mary Kate. At the finish, the order was:

1st – 34, Chloe. Kate & Amy O’Leary
2nd. -26, Nandor, Brian McBride and Stuart McBean
3rd.- 6, Mary Kate, Ian & Jenny Magowan
4th. -18, Good Hope
5th. -46, Mademoiselle
6th. - 3, Pansy
7th. -Moosmie
8th. - 38, Swift
9th. - 10, Sprite
10th. -30 Sara
11th. -45, Mariposa
12th. -42, Tortoise
13th. -17, Coquette

Published in Water Wag

A Dublin Port Pilot boat and a Tug accompanied Star Pride, a 208–passenger cruise liner into her berth at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this morning.

The 133m Star Pride, launched in 1988, is one of three German built cruise ships, that were initially built for Seabourn Cruise Line.

She was known as Seabourn Pride and is now operated for Windstar Cruises and was the first of her class.

The cruise ship, that has recently cruised the Baltic and Iceland, is berthed at the Carlisle Pier close to the National Yacht Club.

Published in Cruise Liners
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The arrival of the five star luxury cruise ship Serenissima into Dun Laoghaire this morning kicks off the town's summer cruise-liner visits this morning.

Weighing in at over 2,500 tonnes, the Serenissima is the length of a soccer pitch, has 59 cabins and a passenger and crew complement of 160 people, will call today, allowing its passengers and crew take in the sights of Dun Laoghaire and surrounds.

Welcoming the ship into Dun Laoghaire, Carolyn Hanaphy of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company said today that “the Serenissima is the first of 8 cruise ship visits scheduled for Dun Laoghaire this summer, bringing with them nearly 3,000 passengers and crew into the town. We are always delighted to see these ships come to our town and spend some time here. Each of these ships is welcomed alongside the historic Carlisle Pier leaving disembarking passengers and crew just 500 metres from the town centre where they can enjoy all that Dun Laoghaire offers in terms of hospitality, shopping and good restaurants and pubs all within a short stroll from the ship.”

Cruise ship dun LaoghaireCruise ship 'Serenissima' berthed at the Carlisle Pier in Dun Laoghaire

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Master Capt. Simon Coate today said that “Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company work hard to secure luxury ships of this kind to come and visit our harbour. The Serenissima which will stop off on her way around the “Gardens of the British Isles” is a charming vessel with a unique style. During a major refit the owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create an 18th century influenced Gustavian style interior. The unique style and grandeur of this vessel certainly is in keeping with the unique aesthetics of our 200-year-old harbour, making Dun Laoghaire a sought-after port of call on her voyage.”

The ship is on a 12-day cruise of the “Gardens of the British Isles”. She left Portsmouth 7 days ago and has already made numerous stops along the English coast, has stopped off in Bantry Bay to visit Garnish Island and Waterford and now she is calling to Dun Laoghaire to visit Powerscourt Gardens. The ship will continue onto Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland on route to her final destination in Oban in Scotland.

Published in Cruise Liners

Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) has issued a statement on its cruise berth facility following yesterday's court case decision in which environmental lobby group Save our Seafront, chaired by local TD Richard Boyd Barret, 'won its legal action against the decision to grant planning permission for the Dún Laoghaire Cruise Terminal'.

The Harbour Company maintain its 'Cruise berth facility is on track' as An Board Pleanála seek further information the state company.

The full ramification of this decision are still being fully analysed but the DLHC statement in full is below: 

'Dún Laoghaire Harbour Company (DLHC) has been informed that An Bord Pleanála will not be defending a Judicial Review of the decision of the Bord to grant planning permission to DLHC for the development of a cruise berth facility in the harbour. The Judicial Review had been taken on behalf of Save our Seafront, who had opposed the development. An Bord Pleanála has now determined that certain technical requirements of the Habitats Directive necessitate additional information to be supplied by DLHC. It is recommending that the planning application is sent back to the Bord for this additional information to be assessed. DLHC will co-operate fully with such a request by An Bord Pleanála.

Commenting, DLHC CEO Gerry Dunne pointed out that while the nature of the issues have yet to be outlined in detail they are believed to be “technical and not substantive”. Mr Dunne added that protecting the sensitive environmental and historical significance of the harbour and its environs remain a priority for DLHC.

The proposed 250 metre berth will, it is anticipated, attract c. 50 cruise calls a year (from May to September), an average of 2 a week. The money generated from these visitors will amount to €10m to the local economy annually'.

A statement from Save our Seafront, on yesterday's court case is here.

Published in Dublin Bay

It may have to take another disaster of Titanic proportions before lifesaving provisions on board cruise ships are improved.
That might seem like a bit of hyperbole – an exaggerated statement or claim not meant to be taken literally, but it came from a maritime source which deserves respect – an international forum of professionals.
• Listen to the Podcast below.

NAUTILUS is the international trade union and professional organisation representing more than 22,000 maritime professionals in the UK, theNetherlands and Switzerland. Its International Professional and Technical Forum issued that warning after a meeting in Hull in England where facts that will surprise the public about cruise ship safety were revealed.

As cruise ships get bigger and bigger, with a 6,000 passenger capacity amongst the biggest, fears have been increasingly expressed about safety and evacuation procedures, which were heightened by the Costa Concordia disaster.
It is surprising to hear that every passenger is not guaranteed a seat in a lifeboat and that some passengers, because of their size, might not even fit in lifeboat seats. According to the NAUTILUS professionals, the SOLAS, safety of life at sea regulations, only require that there is lifeboat capacity for 37.5 per cent of passengers on each side of a cruise ship, providing that liferafts increase that capacity to 125 per cent, meaning apparently that not every passenger would be catered for in a lifeboat in an emergency.

And even if seats are available, the Forum was told that seats only allow for an average mass of 75 kilograms per person and a seat with of 16.9 inches which, the professional forum concluded, does not take into account increases in the average height and weight of passengers.

The general public will be surprised by these findings, the NAUTILUS professionals said. They have called for a lifeboat seat for every passenger onboard – and a guarantee that passengers will fit into them.
The professionals said that passengers may be surprised to learn that this is not already the case.

Published in Island Nation
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Modern luxury cruise line Celebrity Cruises has become the first major cruise line to confirm Dublin Port as a 'home' port when a ship will call the city home during early summer 2018.

For five sailings commencing in late April, throughout May and until the end of June 2018, one of Celebrity Cruises’ 2,800+ guest Solstice-class ships will offer cruises throughout northern Europe from Dublin. Full details on the destinations on offer will be announced later this year. Over 14,000 people are estimated to start their cruise holiday from Dublin on a Celebrity Cruises ship in 2018.

The move is worth an estimated almost €6 million to Dublin and the surrounding area in knock-on economic benefits. Celebrity Cruises already features Dublin and other ports throughout Ireland in its European deployment, however this is the most significant increase in its investment into Ireland in the history of the global business.

Jo Rzymowska, managing director, Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland, explains:

“Celebrity Cruises has enjoyed significant support from our travel agent partners and guests throughout Ireland for many years. Now we are saying thank you by basing one of the flagships of our fleet in Dublin for a mini season during early summer 2018. We know that our guests from around the world, and in Ireland, will love the warm welcome they receive when starting a holiday in Dublin.

“Calling Dublin home in 2018 is a major development to our European deployment. We couldn’t be more excited. Thank you to Dublin Port for their support.”

In 2016 Dublin Port has played host to over 180,000 cruise visitors on over 100 cruise ship calls, of which four were cruise ship turnarounds where the ship begins its sailing and guests embark. Celebrity Cruises’ confirmation of a mini season from Dublin in 2018 brings significant growth to the port.

Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class of ships are the newest in its fleet, all introduced between 2008 and 2012. In addition to luxury guest accommodation, designer boutiques, extensive bars and restaurants, they also feature a real grass lawn on the top deck. With extensive awards particularly for its food and wine, Celebrity Cruises boasts the largest and rarest collection of wine at sea and a host of exclusive restaurants on-board all overseen by a Michelin-starred executive chef.

Pat Ward, Dublin Port, comments:

“It has been a clear ambition of Dublin Port to attract a cruise line to offer our great city as a homeport. Today, that ambition is realised and Celebrity Cruises will be an important step-change in our history. The opportunities that this new investment will bring are extensive. We look forward to maximising this new platform for growth and welcoming yet more cruise ships and holidaymakers to Dublin for the first time.”

Celebrity Cruises sails on every continent in the world and has a fleet of 12 ships. Plus, Celebrity Cruises currently has two new ships on order, scheduled to join the fleet in 2018 and 2020 respectively, and a further two ships on option. The cruise line is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the second large cruise business in the world.

Published in Cruise Liners
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