Varadkar welcomes arrival of season’s first cruise ship

100 cruise liners, over 120,000 passengers contributing 

Up to €50m to Dublin economy in 2013
Wednesday, 15th May 2013: The 142 metre “Le Boreal” cruise liner, with 400 passengers and crew sailed into Dublin Port at 5am this morning and was the first cruise liner to berth at East Link Bridge this year, marking the launch of Dublin Port’s 2013 cruise season.

Dublin Port’s Masterplan 2012-2040 envisages new cruise berths and, in advance of these additional facilities, the Port is bringing over 30 of this year’s cruise liners right up to East Link Bridge where the new berths will be built. This will give a flavour of what the Port’s multi-million euro investment will deliver.

Dublin Port Company will build two new cruise berths and dredge the river so that up to three large cruise liners can berth in full view of the city and cruise passengers can reach the city’s restaurants, shops and attractions easily. The new berths will enable 340 metre cruise liners to berth right up to East Link Bridge at the city gates [see attached], and leave open the potential for a future complementary commercial development at East Link Bridge, with public spaces and access to the water when cruise ships are not there.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar T.D., said, “Dublin Port Company’s plan to develop berths close to the city will greatly enhance our tourism offering. Today is the first step and is good news for the Port and for the city of Dublin.”

Mr. Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company said, “Our cruise business continues to grow [see attached]. We’re delighted to have secured almost 100 cruise ships this year and to bring many of these close to the city for the first time. We have studied cruise facilities in cities such as Vancouver and Copenhagen and learned a lot about customer requirements and optimal marketing requirements. Dublin Port is already the largest gateway for cruise visitors to Ireland and with 1.7 million ferry passengers moving through the port, is behind only Dublin Airport and Cork Airport as a national tourism hub. We have a fantastic offering here with a growing reputation internationally as the go-to city for high end cruise calls. Our location at the heart of Dublin beside the city’s shops, restaurants and bars, as well as proximity to the airport, makes Dublin Port a very attractive destination for major cruise liner operators.”

The French designed Le Boreal offers the latest in cruise luxury with 132 state rooms and an array of facilities on board including a spa, beauty centre, library, gym, theatre and restaurants.

The cruise sector has become a hugely important part of the city’s tourism product since Dublin Port Company first targeted this trade in the mid 1990s. It is estimated that cruise liners have contributed over €350 million to the city in the last decade alone. Dublin Port Company is pleased to have played its role in attracting this business for the city and looks forward to the development of dedicated cruise facilities at East Link Bridge.