THE Port of Cork Company has announced its cruise schedule for 2023, expected to be a “thriving year” for the cruise liner industry, as bookings return to pre-pandemic levels.
Some 113 vessels are expected to dock up in the harbour this year, compared to 100 vessels in 2019.
The first cruise liner of the season, ‘The Ambience’, will dock in Cobh on Monday, April 10.
“Last year, we were delighted to welcome over 115,000 passengers on 90 cruise ships to Cork following a two-year pause as a result of the pandemic.
“Now, we look forward to what is expected to be a thriving year in the cruise liner industry, as bookings return to pre-pandemic levels, which will have a really positive impact on the local region’s tourism and trade,” Port of Cork Company chief commercial officer Conor Mowlds said.
“All of us here at the Port of Cork look forward to welcoming the cruise liners, passengers, and crew in the coming months.”
These sentiments were echoed by Cobh and Harbour Chamber President, Johanna Murphy, who said the cruise season gives a welcome boost to the local economy.
“We’re looking forward to once again welcoming cruise passengers and crew back to Cobh.
“The cruise season is always a huge lift for everyone in Cobh and the local harbour community, so we look forward to what is anticipated to be a busy year of cruise liners which will boost local trade in the town,” she said.
The cruise liner industry is estimated to contribute €70m to the national economy and on average €14m per year to local economies such as Cork.
A highlight of last year’s cruise season was the 331m-long MSC Virtuosa, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, which made its maiden call on September 29.
There were a total of 19 maiden cruise liner calls to Cork last season and the most frequent visitor was the Emerald Princess, which called to the port 13 times.
The Ambience is due to dock quayside in Cobh Cruise Terminal at 12pm on April 10 and is scheduled to depart at 7pm that evening.
To keep up to date with the cruise schedule, visit portofcork.ie.