PoCC-Port of Cork Company and Cruise Ireland welcomed the return to cruise ships after a 2-year pause as a result of the COVID crisis.
Ireland finally reopens again for cruise ship tourists with the arrival of Viking OCEAN's ship Viking Venus to Dun Laoghaire Harbour (Dublin, Ireland) on Tuesday, March 29, marking the return of the sector.
This follows extensive discussions between Cruise Industry Stakeholders and the Authorities that resulted in the development of robust protocols.
The cruising industry is estimated to contribute ~EUR 70 million to Ireland's economy and on average ~EUR 14 million annually to local economies like Cork which pre-COVID had welcomed on average 100 cruise ships annually.
Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer with Port of Cork Company/Chairperson of Cruise Ireland said he was thrilled to finally announce the return to cruises again to Ireland.
“Today’s announcement follows weeks and months of intense collaboration with stakeholders such as the Department of Transport and the HSE to ensure we have robust protocols in place to protect and ensure confidence for not only passengers but our receiving harbour communities.
“We are looking forward very much to the return of cruise activities, to rebuilding and growing the cruise line sector, which has such a crucial role to play for the country’s tourism and the hospitality industries.”
The ‘all-island’ body Cruise Ireland whose membership includes the sector’s key players, has a primary focus to market the island as a premier cruise destination.
The Port of Cork Company hoped to welcome a return to almost pre-COVID levels of cruise ship calls with ~90 vessels scheduled between April-November 2022. The first boat is Fred Olsen's Borealis which is expected to dock in Cobh (arriving from the UK) on April 15th (Good Friday). PoCC’s berth in Cobh is currently Ireland's only dedicated cruise berth.