Queen Mary 2 leaves Dún Laoghaire
World’s largest passenger brings potential of increased cruise holidays to town
A man and dog look on, asThe Queen Mary II – the flagship vessel of the famous Cunard Line – with 3,000 passengers and several hundred crew members aboard, arrives off Dun Laoghaire Harbour today . Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times
The world’s largest ocean liner moored at Dún Laoghaire today, and with it bringing the potential of increased cruise holidays to the region.
Over 3,000 people disembarked from the RMS Queen Mary II, which is the first of 14 liners to visit the town this year, bringing more than 30,000 passengers and generating €3 million for the area. In 2012, a total of 200 people arrived in the harbour.
The ocean liner left Dún Laoghaire this evening and departed for Holyhead. It will then travel to Liverpool, followed by Invergordon, Stavanger in Norway and then Hamburg in Germany.
Six Irish people are travelling onboard the QM2, as well as 1,400 Germans, 760 people from Britain and 200 people from America. Facilities on the ship include a 3D cinema and a planetarium.
World's largest ocean liner berths in Dún Laoghaire
When the ocean liner was launched in 2003, it was the longest, tallest, widest and most expensive liner ever built. This means it does not fit into many harbours, including Dún Laoghaire. Passengers were brought from the ship to the harbour vi smaller boats.
Chairman of the Dún Laoghaire Business Association Don McManus said the ocean liner’s arrival caused a lot of excitement in the area. “The arrival of the Queen Mary 2 marks the beginning of a new era for Dún Laoghaire. The business community has been hugely supportive in funding the cruise welcome and associated publicity. The Queen Mary II alone will generate a spend in the region of €400,000 for the area,” he said.
“We have big plans to continue with the rapid development of the lucrative cruise market in the coming months and years.
“The cruise ship market is the fastest-growing sector in the travel and leisure industry. Globally, it is experiencing accelerated growth of 7.2 per cent per annum despite the tourism industry declining overall. It generates direct spend in Ireland in excess of €20 million per annum, however this is a tiny fraction of the €27 billion the market is worth globally.”
Locals celebrated the QM2’s visit by running a ‘mini cruise-festival’ throughout the day .