A rising tide as Cork forecasts 23% increase in cruise arrivals

Cork port is set to welcome an impressive 116 cruise vessels between April and November 2024, surpassing the 2023 figure of 94 ships that brought 180,000 passengers to the region.

The Port of Cork is expected to see a surge of 23% more cruise vessels in 2024.

It is estimated that cruise tourism contributes €17 million to the local economy, with Cruise Tourism onshore spending averaging at €81 per passenger and €29 per crewperson. 

“The Port of Cork is proud to play a vital role in connecting with cruise liners, passengers, and crew from around the world and welcoming them to Ireland”

Marking the beginning of the cruise season, the MS Sirena, operated by Oceania Cruises, is scheduled to arrive at the Port of Cork on April 1st, 2024.

With a length exceeding 180 meters and a capacity to carry over 850 passengers, the MS Sirena sets the stage for what promises to be a thriving year for Cork’s cruise industry.

Making Cork a premier cruise destination

“The substantial increase in bookings for 2024 reflects the collective efforts and united approach to the development and support of cruise activities from the Port, City, County and local businesses – highlighting Cork as a premier cruise destination,” said Conor Mowlds, chief commercial officer at the Port of Cork Company.

“The Port of Cork is proud to play a vital role in connecting with cruise liners, passengers, and crew from around the world and welcoming them to Ireland.”

The cruise liners expected to arrive in Cork will originate from all over the world, from exotic locations such as Bermuda, to the US and Canada and from all over Europe.

“This positive news not only reflects the growing appeal of the Port of Cork as a popular cruise destination but also signifies the dynamic opportunities for tourism and trade businesses to further enhance the visitor experience,” said Niamh McCarthy, managing director of Excursions Ireland.

“As the leading provider of ground services to international cruise lines visiting Ireland, we are committed to delivering exceptional shore excursions, ensuring that each visitor to Cork enjoys a memorable and enriching experience. We look forward to contributing to the success of Cork as a flourishing cruise hub and creating lasting impressions for every guest we have the pleasure of hosting.”

The biggest ship of the season is expected to be the MSC Virtuosa, which spans 331m and can carry almost 8,000 passengers and crew.

“The increase in cruise calls this year is a testament to the collaboration between Port of Cork and local stakeholders and businesses,” said Toddy Stafford, President of Cobh and Harbour Chamber.

“We eagerly anticipate another successful season that will not only boost local trade and tourism through the influx of passengers and crew but also bring a wave of visitors to Cobh to view these majestic cruise ships in Cork Harbour.”

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