Crosbie proposes city location for cruise ship berth

 

DUBLIN CITY Council and the Dublin Port Company are considering a proposal by docklands entrepreneur Harry Crosbie to relocate the city’s cruise ship terminal to a site closer to the heart of the city beside the East Link bridge.

Mr Crosbie has also been seeking to enlist the support of Minister for Tourism Mary Hanafin, Fáilte Ireland and the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) for his plan, which would see cruise ships moored higher up in the Liffey.

“Unlike Mediterranean and Baltic cities where cruise ships enter right into the heart of the city, ships visiting Dublin at this time are isolated and disconnected from public view while berthed far downriver at Alexandra Basin,” Mr Crosbie said.

“Visitors on these ships have no sense of being in the city as they are surrounded by industrial activity in a working port. They cannot walk into town and many choose to simply remain on board . . . Their only facility is a cheap souvenir shop in a 20ft container.”

He believes the berth immediately downriver of the East Link bridge, on the north bank of the river, would be ideal for cruise ships. At present, it is used as a mooring for tug boats.

“All it needs is to be dredged and the quay repaved and softened with trees.”

Visitors arriving on cruise ships could walk across to the Point Village and get the Luas or taxis into town. “This would encourage them to visit the city centre more than they do now, with the resulting increase in spend.

“Large cruise ships visible to the public outside the Point Village would bring glamour and excitement back into the riverscape . . . The experience of visiting Dublin on a cruise ship could be hugely enhanced relatively easily and at a relatively small capital expenditure.”

Mr Crosbie pointed out that Dublin Port, the city council and the DDDA were involved in a European project to encourage cruise ship tourism as part of an urban regeneration programme.

Michael Stubbs, assistant city manager for planning and economic development, said there was a “huge appetite” among visitors on cruise ships – of which Dublin attracts about 75 a year – to “come into the city and experience its culture, whatever the weather”.

“We feel there’s a very strong opportunity to do something down at the East Link bridge, as opposed to having them stuck down at Alexandra Basin, and that’s the location we’re going to put in a local action plan for the area being drawn up,” he said.

Mr Stubbs said the revenue to be earned was “just incredible”.