Tuesday 21 February 2017

Today is Dublin's biggest-ever for cruise tourism, as four giant ships dock in the city

Cruise control

Published 23/07/2015 | 09:21

The Magellan and the Royal Princess are pictured in Dublin Port this morning. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
The Magellan and the Royal Princess are pictured in Dublin Port this morning. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
Katie Mickunas, North Carolina, an entertainer on board the Royal Princess was at the quayside to greet her guests. Photo: Johnny Bambury/Fennell Photography
The Celebrity Silhouette pictured arriving into Dublin this morning. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
Dublin Port welcomed the arrival of four luxury cruise ships carrying over 13,000 passengers and crew early this morning. Pictured is the Magellan. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
The Royal Princess pictured arriving into Dublin this morning. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
The Celebrity Silhouette pictured arriving into Dublin this morning. Photo: Johnny Bambury/ Fennell Photography
The 319m Celebrity Silhouette, docking in Dublin today.

Dublin Port welcomed four luxury cruise liners within a four-hour window this morning, making it the city's biggest-ever day for cruise tourism.

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Between them, the four ships are carrying over 13,000 passengers and crew, bringing an estimated windfall of €1.3 million to the city, Dublin Port Company says.

The ships are Princess' Royal Princess (330m long), Celebrity Silhouette (319m), Pullmantur's MV Horizon (208m) and Cruise & Maritime Voyages' Magellan (222m).

All four vessels arrived at the mouth of the Liffey between 3:30am and 7am, allowing passengers and crew a day's sightseeing in the capital.

Passengers on the ships hail mainly from the US, France and Great Britain, the Port company says, and are expected to spend an average of €100 each while visiting.

The 19-deck Royal Princess measures just three metres shy of MSC Splendida, which became the the longest-ever cruise ship to dock at Dublin Port earlier this summer.

Similar to MSC Splendida, both it and the Celebrity Silhouette had to manoeuvre stern first (‘reverse’) into Dublin Port this morning given their lengths.

The complex manoeuvre was co-ordinated by the port’s Harbour Master, Capt. David Dignam, and the port’s pilots with the assistance of tugs Shackleton and Beaufort, Dublin Port said in a statement.

The ships are scheduled to depart as follows:

  • Celebrity Silhouette: 17.30
  • Horizon: 18.00
  • Royal Princess: 19.00
  • Magellan: 19.15

Nearly 100 ships are expected to bring 200,000 visitors to the city in 2015, putting Dublin Port on track for a record year in cruise tourism.

The company's Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project (dublinportabr.ie) was recently approved by An Bord Pleanála, and will allow Dublin to welcome the world's biggest cruise ships - including the 360m Allure of the Seas.

Work on the €230m project is set to being this year.

"Dublin City is a marquee destination for the world’s largest cruise lines," said Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of Dublin Port Company.

Placed end to end, the four cruise ships currently docked in Dublin would stretch to more than one kilometre.

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