Cruise liner traffic boosted Cork’s economy by more than €12m this year – a figure which is likely to increase next year when the number of ships visiting the city will top the 100-mark for the first time.
A total of 92 cruise ships have visited the port this year, carrying 157,000 passengers and 69,000 crew.
It was the highest ever number of cruise ship visits to the region and the Port of Cork says it anticipates it will have more than 100 visits in 2019.
"Even though our cruise business has grown 30% in the last year, the biggest beneficiary is the region – with up to €12 million injected into the local economy over the summer cruise season," says Port of Cork chief executive Brendan Keating said.
Based on research carried out in 2017 on behalf of the Port of Cork, cruise passengers spend an average of €81 per visit and crew spend €29 per visit.
"In 2019 we anticipate over 100 cruise calls to Cork and realistically this is how we expect the cruise business pace to continue," adds Keating.
Currently, all cruise operations are handled in Cobh, Ireland’s only dedicated cruise berth.
However, with the continued growth in calls, the Port of Cork is keen to explore the option of a second cruise berth in Cobh.
The increased cruise calls to Cork are indicative of the wider global cruise business which has seen huge growth.
It is estimated this year that 27.2m people will have taken a cruise on more than 450 cruise ships worldwide.