Cobh named one of Western Europe's top cruise destinations
Cobh is the second-best cruise port in Western Europe, according to readers of one of the world's top cruise websites.
CruiseCritic.com's first Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards saw the Co. Cork town named after Amsterdam as Western Europe's top-rated port.
Cobh ranked ahead of Greenock (Glasgow), Lisbon (Portugal) and Bruges (Belgium) in the awards, which are based on consumer reviews from the website.
The awards span 15 regions, with other winners including San Francisco, Sydney, St. Petersburg and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay.
“We are simply thrilled with the result for Cobh," said Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager, Port of Cork.
"Every year the Port of Cork puts a huge amount of effort into preparing and promoting the Cork region for cruise companies and their passengers and this has really paid off."
Captain McCarthy commended a collaborative effort. "This award is about a port and a City working together to make the passenger experience entirely better."
Cobh was the last port of call for the ill-fated RMS Titanic in 1912.
Cruise traffic has been growing in recent years, with 58 calls this year and 66 cruise liners expected in 2017, carrying some 170,000 passengers.
Cobh itself is also continuing to invest in tourist infrastructure, with Spike Island now open to visitors, new exhibitions added to the Titanic Experience, and reports that the town's 'Heartbreak Pier' will be refurbished next year.
Fáilte Ireland has also financed an expansion of the Irish Emigration Story at Cobh Heritage Centre, as part of its Ireland's Ancient East capital grants scheme.
The new development follows a major upgrade of the Centre in 2012 for the Titanic 100 commemorations, and again in 2015 for the Lusitania 100 commemorations.
“A cruise isn’t just about the ship," said Adam Coulter, Cruise Critic's UK editor.
"Picking the right itinerary is imperative. Cruises enable travellers to explore a number of amazing destinations, offering culture, beauty and history.
"With such a variety of unique destinations to choose from, these awards aim to highlight, and celebrate, those rated highly by travellers to offer inspiration and guidance to cruise planners.”