Getting to experience the heart of the city

Dublin Port Company’s cruise business grew strongly in 2017, with 127 cruise ship arrivals

Getting to experience the heart of the city
Celebrity Eclipse will spend a mini-season homeporting in Dublin in 2018

By Sean Dudley |

This article was first published in Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.

Cruise tourism is a growing feature at Dublin Port, largely driven by passenger demand. When cruise companies add Dublin to their itineraries, it’s because passengers are wanting to experience a vibrant European city that is renowned for its warmth and hospitality.

Dublin Port is located just three kilometres from the city centre, and as a vibrant capital city, has something for all cruise tourists. The city is steeped in history and culture, but also has a contemporary feel, with vibrant shopping and entertainment facilities.

A diverse range of attractions provides itinerary planners and cruise passengers with a host of tour options, including the famous Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College and the Book of Kells.

Dublin Port is also just 15 minutes from Dublin Airport, which has direct flights to over 191 destinations in 42 countries, as well as having direct flights to 13 US cities. This combination of seaport and airport helps to easily connect Dublin with the rest of the world.

These are just some of the factors that have contributed to the growth of cruise tourism in Dublin over the last number of years. The port will welcome 145 cruise ships to Dublin in 2018 – worth an estimated x50 million (US$69 million) to the local and regional economy.

Perhaps the most exciting development for cruise tourism in Dublin is the mini-season that the Celebrity Eclipse will spend homeporting in the city this year. Beginning on 30 April 2018, five voyages will turnaround in Dublin, offering itineraries which take in the Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and even the French Tennis Open.

While Dublin has done partial turnarounds for many years, this is the first time that full turnarounds will have been done on such a large scale. Furthermore, following the commitment of Celebrity Cruises to homeport in Dublin and the proximity of the airport to the seaport, it is hoped turnarounds will become a more significant feature of Dublin’s cruise calendar. In fact, Celebrity Cruises has already committed to turnarounds in 2019 and beyond at Dublin, while other cruise operators are also discussing options around homeporting in the city over the coming years.

At the port itself, extensive work on the Alexandra Basin redevelopment project is well underway. Once complete, this will provide longer and deeper berths, allowing for bigger ships to routinely call and turn within the expanded basin, and berth even further up river and closer to the city centre.

On the land side of things, a major project to reintegrate the city with the port was completed in 2017. The redevelopment of Dublin’s Port Centre has seen the boundary between the port and city softened, with new pedestrian access points to the new maritime garden and the refurbished podium providing a focal point for locals and visitors to observe the operations of the port.

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