Over 400 cruise ships to visit Ireland this year

The fabled QE2 is among the vessels due to dock in the island in the coming months

The fabled Queen Elizabeth – QE2  – will be visiting Killybegs and Dublin this year.

The fabled Queen Elizabeth – QE2 – will be visiting Killybegs and Dublin this year.

 

Irish ports are going to have a busy year, with more than 400 cruise ships scheduled to dock across the country. Dublin will have almost 150 visiting ships, some capable of accommodating up to 6,000 passengers.

So many ships are coming to Ireland that Dublin and Cork will have more liners visiting than the traditional big draws of Nice and Venice.

On August 8th, four beasts will juggle for space in Dublin Port – not to mention the 4,000-plus visitors landing in the city. The ships arriving will include the Marina, with 1,252 passengers, German liner Mein Schiff, with 1,924 passengers, Pacific Princess, an American liner with 678 passengers, and the smaller but super luxurious Silver Wind, with 600 passengers.

Dublin will also celebrate for the first-time arrivals and departures for Celebrity Cruises, which will see 15,000 passengers embarking and debarking in the city during five journeys.

The Celebrity Eclipse will visit Dublin and Cork this year.
The Celebrity Eclipse will visit Dublin and Cork this year.

Most of the best-known operators have Dublin on their itineraries: Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Viking, MSC, Seabourn, Silversea, and Norwegian all have ships stopping off.

The city will also see the biannual visit from The World – the cruise ship where the suites have individual owners.

On the May bank holiday weekend, Silversea Silver Muse will do a three-day sail from Galway to Dublin for people who want to experience the world’s most luxurious cruise. The cruise costs €999pps all inclusive and is available from John Galligan Travel.

Dublin Port has been planning a standalone cruise ferry terminal for many years, but despite the lack of such a facility, the city continues to be a very popular stop-off for cruise passengers.

Meanwhile, Cobh has invested €150 million so it can handle the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class of super-ships, each capable of carrying 5,000 passengers. The Cork port, once known as Queenstown, will become the only Irish facility capable of handling the vast new super-liners that are more than 300m long.

So popular are Cork and Dublin becoming that four major liners berthed in them over Christmas, bringing 6,000 passengers.

On the west coast, Galway is expecting 24 ships this year, and even little Killybegs in Co Donegal will see some of the world’s greatest liners stopping off: the Queen Elizabeth – the QE2 – and Queen Victoria, as well as the Silver Cloud and Silver Wind from the Silversea brand, will spend nights in the harbour. There will be 20,000 visitors to Killybegs, spending an average of €100 per person.

Derry will have visits from seven ships, including Holland America Line’s Prinsendam, with 2,659 passengers.

The Disney Magic floating resort will visit Dublin and Cork in September. It is modelled on the famous Disneyland resorts in Florida and California, and carries 2,700 passengers.

Cruise Calls 2018

Dublin Port 150

Dún Laoghaire 10

Belfast 119

Cork/Cobh 87

Waterford 21

Galway 24

Killybegs 12

Foyle/Derry 7

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