Dublin Port Predicts a Record Year for Cruise Tourism
Last year the port of Dublin received 210,000 cruise visitors, fully one third more than the year before, and a record 127 cruise ships called in the first nine months of the year. Ferry passenger traffic also rose, reaching a total of 1,850,000 people.
Ireland's biggest city is also its busiest cruise port, and since its passenger terminals are right next to downtown it's easy to visit by cruise ship - a fact that isn't lost on cruisers. Pat Ward, head of corporate services for Dublin Port Company, says that 2018 is already on track to be a record year and the port is working now on the infrastructure to support growth.
This April, Celebrity Cruises will homeport the Celebrity Eclipse in Dublin for an inaugural "mini season" of departures, the first major cruise lines to base a vessel in the city. Celebrity recently announced that it plans to bring the Celebrity Reflection, its newest ship, to Dublin in summer 2019 for another series of sailings.
"We are really pleased with the performance of the 2018 season for Celebrity Eclipse, and our 2019 deployment of a slightly larger ship in Celebrity Reflection to Dublin sees an increase in the number of people who will sail from this great city," said Celebrity's head of sales for Ireland, Lorraine Quinn, speaking to Afloat.ie.
Trade volumes growing rapidly
Overall, volumes at Dublin Port have grown by 30 percent in just five years. If this pace keeps up in 2018, it would mean a third successive record year for Dublin Port.
Cargo growth in 2017 was particularly strong in ro/ro freight, which rose about five percent over the previous year, with especially strong growth in services between Ireland and Britain. Containerized cargo grew by four percent.
“Dublin Port’s volumes continue to grow strongly. It is clear that the trend of year on year increases that we saw in the decades before the crash of 2008 has returned. We have now seen five years of consistent growth and each of the last three years has been a record year," said port CEO Eamonn O'Reilly.