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Displaying items by tag: Cruise Season ends

The cruise ship season for the Port of Cork Company (PoCC) has been marked with a successful year as it welcomed one of the largest such ships in the world, the MSC Virtuosa which arrived to Cork Harbour today. 

The MSC Virtuosa spans 331 metres in length and weighs 181,541 tonnes and has the capacity to carry over 6,300 passengers. The visit of the cruise ship which Afloat adds is operated by MSC Cruises, has brought the total number of cruise ships that have docked in the Port of Cork this year to 94, welcoming over 180,000 passengers along the way.

The cruise ship industry is estimated to contribute €70 million to the national economy and on average €14 million per year to local economies such as Cork.

Speaking about this year’s cruise season, Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork Company stated: “We are delighted to have hosted so many cruise liners in the Port of Cork this season. The cruise industry continues to contribute a major part in the success of the Irish tourism and hospitality sectors. This year, we have had a 16% increase in the number of cruise liners docking in Cork, with nine ships making their maiden call. As a result, we have welcomed an additional 60,000 passengers compared to 2022. This considerable increase in visitors demonstrates the strength of Cork as a highly desirable tourist destination.”

Toddy Stafford, President of Cobh and Harbour Chamber added: “The cruise season is always a key highlight of our year for the town of Cobh and the wider local harbour community. Throughout the season, the series of impressive vessels attracts a large number of visitors to Cobh and brings a vibrant atmosphere to the town. This year’s increase in footfall has been beneficial to businesses and traders, providing a solid boost to our local economy.”

A highlight of the 2023 cruise season was the visit of the Disney Dream. The visit by Disney Cruise Line to Cork marked the largest vessel to dock at Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth in Cobh. At 339.8 metres in length, the Disney Dream has a maximum passenger capacity of 4,000.

The MSC Virtuosa berthed at the quayside of the Cobh Cruise Terminal at approximately 10:30am and is scheduled to depart at 18:00hrs this evening. 

Published in Cruise Liners

The Kingstown to Queenstown Yacht Race or 'K2Q', previously the Fastnet 450

The Organising Authority ("OA") are ISORA & SCORA in association with The National Yacht Club & The Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The Kingstown to Queenstown Race (K2Q Race) is a 260-mile offshore race that will start in Dun Laoghaire (formerly Kingstown), around the famous Fastnet Rock and finish in Cork Harbour at Cobh (formerly Queenstown).

The  K2Q race follows from the successful inaugural 'Fastnet 450 Race' that ran in 2020 when Ireland was in the middle of the COVID Pandemic. It was run by the National Yacht Club, and the Royal cork Yacht Club were both celebrating significant anniversaries. The clubs combined forces to mark the 150th anniversary of the National Yacht Club and the 300th (Tricentenary) of the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Of course, this race has some deeper roots. In 1860 the first-ever ocean yacht race on Irish Waters was held from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) to Queenstown (now Cobh).

It is reported that the winner of the race was paid a prize of £15 at the time, and all competing boats got a bursary of 10/6 each. The first race winner was a Schooner Kingfisher owned by Cooper Penrose Esq. The race was held on July 14th 1860, and had sixteen boats racing.

In 2022, the winning boat will be awarded the first prize of a cheque for €15 mounted and framed and a Trophy provided by the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world.

The 2022 race will differ from the original course because it will be via the Fastnet Rock, so it is a c. 260m race, a race distance approved by the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club as an AZAB qualifier. 

A link to an Afloat article written by WM Nixon for some history on this original race is here.

The aim is to develop the race similarly to the Dun Laoghaire–Dingle Race that runs in alternate years. 

Fastnet 450 in 2020

The South Coast of Ireland Racing Association, in association with the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork, staged the first edition of this race from Dun Laoghaire to Cork Harbour via the Fastnet Rock on August 22nd 2020.

The IRC race started in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, August 22nd 2020. It passed the Muglin, Tuscar, Conningbeg and Fastnet Lighthouses to Starboard before returning to Cork Harbour and passing the Cork Buoy to Port, finishing when Roches's Point bears due East. The course was specifically designed to be of sufficient length to qualify skippers and crew for the RORC Fastnet Race 2021.

At A Glance – K2Q (Kingstown to Queenstown) Race 2024

The third edition of this 260-nautical mile race starts from the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay on July 12th 2024 finishes in Cork Harbour.

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