The Port of Cork is exploring the option of a second cruise berth in Cobh given the continued growth in the number of ships arriving in Cork Harbour each year.
The company is now seeking expressions of interest from firms willing to develop a new cruise berth at Lynch's quay at the eastern end of the town.
The 2018 cruise season is drawing to a close with one more cruise ship left to visit in December.
A total of 92 cruise ships will have visited in 2018, the most significant cruise season ever for the Port of Cork. More than 157,000 passengers and 69,000 crew came ashore this summer bringing an economic benefit of over €12 Million.
Port of Cork and Cork County Council jointly acquired the 5,000 square-metre Lynch's Quay site last August. It is located 200 metres east of the existing cruise terminal
Planning permission was previously granted in 2008 for a passenger landing station and a ferry terminal with kiosks, restaurants and a heritage and tourism centre. However, this development did not proceed and the permission expired in 2013.
The Port of Cork is now inviting submissions from interested parties to develop and operate a second dedicated cruise berth.
At Lynch’s Quay, commercial opportunities include a possible Spike Island sea bus terminal, car park, marina berths, visitor centre, floating museum and marine sports activity hub.
Mr Conor Mowlds, Port of Cork Chief Commercial Officer said: "By launching the Expressions of Interest we will see if there is an appetite in the market to develop a new cruise berth in Cobh. From the Port’s perspective, we know this business is growing and we want to have every possible option ready to capitalise on this business."
The port's Chief Executive Brendan Keating said they expect more than 100 cruise vessels to call to Cork Harbour next year.
"Realistically this is how we expect the cruise business pace to continue," he said.
The global cruise ship order book for new build contracts will reach 113 ships between now and 2027. The Port of Cork said it is is eager to attract these new ships.