ALMOST 5,000 passengers and crew from three cruise liners arrived in Cork yesterday, marking one of the busiest days of the year yet for the Port.
Serenade of the Seas, carrying 3,358 passengers and crew, docked in Cobh from 8.30am, with Midnastol (1,074 passengers and crew) and Le Soleal (400 passengers and crew) docking in the city for the day.
It is the first time this year that three vessels arrived at the Port of Cork on a single day, a feat that will only be repeated once more before the end of the year.
2017 looks set to be a banner year for the Port, with 65 liners due to call to Cork in a season that will run until November 2.
By the end of the season, approximately 160,000 passengers and crew will visit the city and county.
Commercial manager at the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy, said, "The 2017 Cork cruise season is booming, which is great for the port and the region. The numbers are up compared to 2016 and we feel very positive about this increase in business. It's also very encouraging to see cruise liners bringing their newest vessels to Cork on maiden calls and choosing Cobh as part of their cruising route."
The port has even bigger vessels in mind in the coming years, he added.
"It is our ambition as a port company to attract larger cruise ships and increase our cruise calls to 75 per year. Already in 2018, the bookings are indicating we will achieve this goal, if not exceed it."