Dublin becoming ‘marquee destination’ for cruise liners

Dublin Port Company says 113 cruise calls expected to bring more than 180,000 to city

The MSC ‘Splendida’ cruise ship in Dublin in May 2015. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The MSC ‘Splendida’ cruise ship in Dublin in May 2015. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Dublin is “rapidly developing” a reputation as a marquee destination for cruise liners, according to the Dublin Port Company, which has announced it will accommodate 113 cruise calls this year.

Among the 113 calls are four turnaround cruises, which will see passengers travel to Dublin to begin their cruise. The liners are expected to bring more than 180,000 visitors to Dublin.

Dublin Port’s cruise business started in January with three calls in the first quarter, but the season “begins in earnest” next week with the arrival of the 333m long MSC Splendida on Tuesday. It is the 11th longest cruise ship in the world, and carries more than 4,600 passengers and crew on board.

Dublin Port Company head of corporate services Pat Ward said Dublin is “rapidly developing a reputation among the international cruise lines as a marquee destination that offers passengers easy access to a vibrant European city”.

“Demand in the market is so strong that Dublin Port is being asked by the cruise lines to accommodate ships much larger than we routinely handle,” he said.

Work on the €230 million Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project to expand capacity in Dublin Port is under way and will be completed in four years. Larger ships will then be able to call at Dublin Port, turn within the expanded Alexandra Basin West, and berth upriver at the East Link Bridge.

“With the ABR Project largely complete in the next four years, Dublin Port will have the enhanced infrastructure and capacity to meet market demand for future years,” said Mr Ward.