Bantry Bay is hoping to capitalise on the growing expedition cruise market (Image: John Minehane)
Bantry Bay Port Company is working with local businesses and excursion companies to grow local cruise business and promote the region as a destination.
As part of these efforts, the port held a cruise seminar to launch its strategy in August. Titled ‘Collectively Growing Cruise Tourism in Bantry’, the seminar was aimed at those running local attractions and businesses, providing them with an insight in the Irish and global cruise markets, and how Bantry can capitalise on it.
While Bantry Bay is currently operating as a tender port with no dedicated cruise berth, it expects to continue growing within the small liner or expedition cruise markets with guidance from the Port of Cork.
“The destination is the centre stage and the ship is the vehicle to get there,” said Brendan Keating, chief executive of the Port of Cork. “In this case, Bantry is the main attraction and we need to attract the right vessels for passengers to see this beautiful part of the world. However, we cannot do it alone and that is why we want to collectively grow this business with the local area and the many exciting attractions and businesses.
“As the cruise business in Bantry continues to grow, a wider and united approach with the county council, shore excursion companies, local tourism organisations and attractions is needed to promote the region and the activities which cruise passengers can enjoy during their visit.”
The expedition market is currently set for dramatic growth, with over 40 ships expected for delivery by 2023 from lines such as Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and Hurtigruten.
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