Four cruise liners in one day - and 100 to visit capital in record year
"The world is changing when Dublin has four cruise ships in one day," remarks a crew member on the bridge of one the luxury vessels docked in Dublin Port.
The luxury cruise liners all arrived in to Dublin Port in the early hours of yesterday within four hours of each other, making it the port's busiest day ever for cruise tourism.
And shortly after 8am, the 10,000 passengers and 3,000 crew members began to disembark from the ships to explore the city.
Experts estimate that these cruise tourists will have injected up to €1.3m into the local economy, as they spend an average of €100 each.
Dublin Port Company said that 2015 would be a record year, as it expects at least 100 cruise liners to berth in the port, bringing as many as 200,000 customers down the gangways.
The four ships that moored in the capital yesterday - the Royal Princess, Celebrity Silhouette, MV Horizon and Magellan - stretched to one kilometre in length between them. Their passengers came from all corners of the globe. Among them were Californian sisters Ashley Bliss (22) and Alyssa Thomason (14).
The duo, from San Diego, were on a family holiday onboard the Royal Princess.
"We came from Southampton and this is our third stop," Ashley said, as she danced along to the live traditional music which was there to welcome them.
"On Wednesday we were in Cobh. It was so beautiful and green. It's our first time in Ireland. I have some Irish and Scottish ancestry."
The family were due to visit Glendalough yesterday.
All the way from Philadelphia, 26-year-old Beth Callaghan was en route to the Guinness Storehouse with her American travelling companions - Kim Duncan, Eric Duncan and Pam Caudill - after kissing the Blarney Stone yesterday.
On the other side of the harbour, Captain Emmanouil Alevropoulos was delighted to be welcomed by management as he guided the Celebrity Silhouette ship in to the port for the first time.
"I am very excited to come back and stay longer. Our guests are excited for this destination.
"The reputation of Dublin Port is very good," he told the Irish Independent.
Eamonn O'Reilly, the chief executive of Dublin Port, said the capital had become a "marquee destination for the world's largest cruise liners", attributing the success to its close proximity to the city centre.
It came as the CSO released figures which showed that Ireland's overseas visitors in the second quarter of the year were up 10.3pc on the same period in 2014.
Some 2.3 million people visited Ireland between April and June.