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Dublin Port Company welcomed the arrival of four luxury cruise ships early this morning at Dublin Port. The ships’ arrivals – all within a four hour window – make this the biggest day ever for cruise tourism in Dublin.
Placed end to end, the four cruise ships would stretch to more than one kilometre. Dublin Port’s cruise business is now firmly on track for a record year in 2015 with nearly 100 cruise ships bringing 200,000 visitors to Dublin expected for the full year.
Bringing over 13,000 passengers and crew to Dublin this morning were the Royal Princess (330m long), Celebrity Silhouette (319m long), MV Horizon (208m long) and Magellan (222m long) cruise ships. All four vessels arrived at the mouth of the River Liffey between 3:30am and 7:00am, giving their passengers and crew a day to spend sightseeing in the capital. Cruise ship arrivals typically deliver a €100 per passenger spend, meaning an economic boost of €1.3million for the city today. These ships’ passengers originate primarily from the United States of America, France and Great Britain.
At 330m long, the most impressive arrival is the 19-deck Royal Princess measuring just three metres shy of MSC Splendida, the longest cruise ship ever to dock at Dublin Port earlier this summer. Like the MSC Splendida, both the Royal Princess and the Celebrity Silhouette also had to manoeuvre stern first (‘reverse’) into Dublin Port this morning given their lengths. This complex manoeuvre was co-ordinated by the port’s Harbour Master, Capt. David Dignam, and the port’s pilots with the assistance of tugs Shackleton and Beaufort.
With Dublin Port Company’s ABR Project recently approved by An Bord Pleanála, this practice will no longer be required as larger ships will be able to routinely call at Dublin, turn within the expanded Alexandra Basin West and berth as far upriver as East Link Bridge. The project, once complete, will mean an even brighter future for cruise tourism to the capital with Dublin Port able to handle the world’s largest cruise liners, including the 360m long Allure of the Seas. This in turn will create a positive economic impact for the city, enhance inbound tourism and contribute to the development of Docklands.
Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said: “Today is the biggest day ever for our cruise business with four luxury cruise liners bringing over 13,000 visitors to the capital in a single day. Dublin City is a marquee destination for the world’s largest cruise lines. Our location at the heart of the city means that passengers can maximise their time in the capital, taking in the city’s sights, shops and attractions with ease. Dublin Port’s cruise business is growing from strength to strength. We are already on track for a record year in 2015, and with work on our ABR Project commencing before the end of the year, the future of cruise tourism to the capital is now secure.”
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