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Dublin Port to Restrict Number of Cruise Ship Visits

Dublin Port to Restrict Number of Cruise Ship Visits
There is widespread dismay in both the travel and tourism sectors following the shock announcement from Dublin Port that it intends to restrict the number of cruise ships seeking berthing facilities in the port from 2021 onwards.
In a statement, Dublin Port said that the number of cruise ships calling to Dublin Port has grown considerably in recent years. “In 2018, there were 150 cruise ship calls. This year there will be over 160 and, for 2020, there are 140 bookings already. Because of the huge growth in cargo volumes (36% in the six years to 2018) and the impact of the major programme of capital works in Dublin Port (€1 billion from 2019 to 2028) it is necessary for Dublin Port Company (DPC) to introduce a system to better balance the allocation of berths for essential year-round cargo services and for seasonal cruise ships. Since the 1980s, Dublin Port has provided considerable financial support from its own resources to develop cruise tourism to the capital.

Cunard Queen Victoria

“From 2021, berth allocations for cruise ships in Dublin Port will be managed in accordance with a new  structure. The effect of this new policy will be to restrict the annual number of cruise ships in Dublin Port to about 80, starting in 2021. This is the same level of cruise ship activity in Dublin Port in 2010.

“If Dublin Port is to cater for large numbers of cruise ships (in excess of 200) in the future, new berths will have to be constructed at North Wall Quay Extension, adjacent to the Tom Clark Bridge. This will require co-financing and/or long-term financial guarantees from cruise lines. This requirement for part-funding is set out in Dublin Port’s Master plan 2040.

“DPC has commissioned an economic cost benefit analysis from Indecon/Bermello Ajamil. This is due to be completed by mid-year. Based on this analysis, DPC will engage with stakeholders to determine their willingness to support the required investment.”

Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK & Ireland

Andy Harmer, Director, CLIA UK & Ireland, said: “CLIA understands the challenges the Port of Dublin faces, but its decision to reduce their presence in the Irish cruise sector is very disappointing. Ireland is a valued cruise destination and a country that receives a great deal of economic benefit from cruise tourism.”

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Michael Flood is an experienced travel expert with over 35 years' experience of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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