The first of 102 cruise liners to come to Cork in 2019 arrived into Cobh this morning.
The MV Astoria docked at the dedicated cruise berth in the historic harbour town.
2019 will be a record year for the Port of Cork with the numbers of scheduled calls the highest the port has ever seen.
The port company anticipates total passenger numbers to be 200,000 and 80,000 crew.
Fourteen cruise liners will make their maiden calls to Cork this season with the number of repeat visits from cruise lines showing their dedication to Cobh.
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.
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 reports in some of the world’s leading cruise travel journals.
“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.’