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#CRUISE LINER–Up to 900 delegates from the fuel industry in Brazil are being rewarded for their business with a high end incentive trip in 2012 which will include a visit to Cork. They will travel on the cruise liner MV Independence of the Seas which will berth at Cobh Cruise Terminal overnight. The group, which is being co-ordinated by Kuoni Destination Management Company will experience Cork over a day and a half. This is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the region of Cork, voted one of the top ten European destinations to visit in 2011 by Yahoo Search Engine.

Cork Convention Bureau (CCB) has been working with Kuoni on an impressive itinerary for next year. A group of 12 visited Cork on September 17th and 18th last on a fact finding mission. CCB ensured they experienced the best of the region including a visit to the coastal town of Kinsale, the Queenstown Heritage Centre in Cobh, Fota House and even a night at the dog races! As a result of this site inspection a programme has been devised. A gala dinner in the grounds of Castlemartyr Resort Hotel with the backdrop of the castle ruins has been proposed followed by a day of excursions including the Jameson Distillery in the town of Midleton and the obligatory kissing of the Blarney Stone. Two hours of free time in Cork's city centre will allow the group to browse the chic boutiques and have lunch at many of Cork's great restaurants tasting local artisan produce.

'This business will be worth an estimated €500,000 to the Cork region. Since its inception in 2007, CCB has been responsible for more than €20 million worth of conference, meeting and incentive business in Cork. Cork is at its peak right now and international event organisers looking for new destinations are very impressed with the product offering.' Evelyn O'Sullivan, Business Tourism Manager CCB. (Cork Convention Bureau is an initiative of Cork City and County Councils, Failte Ireland and is also supported by the regions hotels.)

Commenting on the delegate visit to Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy Port of Cork said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for Cork to leave a very positive welcoming experience for the 900 visitors. It is very encouraging to see commercial companies using the cruise liner business as a method of visiting the region. Statistics available from the cruise lines indicate that 30% of cruise passengers make a return visit to a region they visited on their cruise itinerary. This would be excellent for Cork if some or all of these delegates return in the future with their family or friends or indeed looked at future business opportunities." In order to ensure that their visit is memorable, the Port of Cork will coordinate a special welcome with the Tour Operator, Cobh Tourism, Town Council and Chamber, Irish Rail and Cork City TEAM.

He continued: "The Port of Cork has been involved for the last 3 years with Spanish, French and Portuguese Ports in developing the European Atlantic Area as a premier cruise destination. This work under an EU Initiative "Cruise Atlantic Europe" is aimed at developing the historic links between these countries and the Latin nations in South America, particularly Brazil to encourage them to visit this region. The Independence of the Seas is due to berth in the Port of Cork between the 6th-7th May 2012 with over 5,000 passengers and crew.

Published in Cruise Liners

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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