'It has an enormous, positive, impact': Delight at return of cruises to Cork 

“Economically, the cruise line industry is a big one for the whole region. Some passengers get on trains to go into Cork City, they get buses to Blarney, they visit Carrigtwohill. 
'It has an enormous, positive, impact': Delight at return of cruises to Cork 

The Port of Cork gets ready to welcome back tourist liners for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

AN estimated 90 cruise ships are set to dock in Cork’s harbours this year, as The Port of Cork gets ready to welcome back tourist liners for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

The ‘Borealis’ will arrive in Cobh on April 14, signalling the return of an industry that usually brings in an estimated €14m a year to the local economy.

The announcement has been welcomed by Cobh and Harbour Chamber president Johanna Murphy, who told The Echo that the return of the liners would affect the entire region.

“We’ve been waiting for these cruise liners to come back with bated breath. We went from having 140 geared to come in 2020 and all of a sudden we had zero,” Ms Murphy said.

“When cruise liners come into Cobh, you have the crew spending money, the passengers spending money, and you have all of the spectators who come into the town to see the ships spending money, and we lost all of that income.

“Economically, the cruise line industry is a big one for the whole region. Some passengers get on trains to go into Cork City, they get buses to Blarney, they visit Carrigtwohill. 

"It has an enormous, positive, impact.” 

The Port of Cork Company said that it hopes to welcome a return to pre-pandemic levels of cruise calls this year, with approximately 90 ships scheduled to berth in Cork between April and November.

It is estimated that the industry will contribute €70 million to the national economy in 2022.

“People coming here get to see what Ireland has to offer and a lot of people who come in on cruise ships come back for return visits,” said Ms Murphy.

“It’s almost like a festival day in Cobh when they come in. Everyone comes out. You’d have musicians outside playing, the bandstand and coffee shops would be busy, people would be doing art on the road, tours would be on.

“It’s beautiful to watch and we’re delighted to welcome it again. We’re very lucky to be able to facilitate these ships and it keeps our maritime history alive. 

"They really are a part of Cork’s story.” 

The decision to welcome cruises again was made following extensive discussions between stakeholders and the implementation of new protocols, according to Chief Commercial Officer with Port of Cork Company and Chairperson of Cruise Ireland Conor Mowlds.

“The announcement follows weeks and months of intense collaboration with stakeholders, such as the Department of Transport and the HSE, to ensure we have robust protocols in place to protect and ensure confidence for not only passengers but our receiving harbour communities,” Mr Mowlds said.

"There is no doubt that the return of cruises to Cork will have a positive impact on local businesses and the economy. 

In the years prior to Covid, Cruise Ireland reported an on-shore local spending estimate of €81 per passenger and €29 per crewperson in Cork, contributing €14 million to the local economy.

“This is an exciting time for local businesses to welcome visitors back with open arms and remind them why Cork is a world-class cruise destination."

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