Disney Cruise Line is granting one of Dublin Port's wishes with two planned visits next year, the Company has announced.
Dublin Port will become the first Irish port to welcome Disney Cruise Line when the 300m Disney Magic makes her maiden call on May 26, 2016.
The visit is a scheduled stop on a transatlantic cruise from Florida to Dover, England, with a further stop planned on June 13 as part of a 12-night cruise around Britain.
The news comes as Dublin hosts MSC Splendida, a 333-metre giant carrying over 4,600 passengers and crew. The ship is making maritime history as the largest ever to dock in the capital, Dublin Port Company says.
Its 4,600 passengers and crew were greeted by a live céilí band, Irish drummers, dancers and entertainment before passengers departed for the city’s shops and attractions today.
The ship is scheduled to call at Cork at 6.30am tomorrow.
Disney Magic will bring 2,700 passengers and a complement of 950 cast and crew when it calls next year, the Company added.
Disney cruises offer their guests "Broadway-calibre" Disney shows, Disney character experiences, first-run and classic movies as well as multiple pools, restaurant and entertainment options.
Going to press, prices on a 12-night 'British Isles Cruise' departing from Dover in June 2016 were listed from $7,233/€6,452pp on the Disney Cruise Line website.
A seven-night Norwegian fjords cruise was quoted from $3,336/€2,988pp.
Prices include staterooms, meals and entertainment.
Mickey Mouse on board the Disney Magic
During its 2015 season, Dublin Port expects to host at least 83 ships and some 140,000 passengers, it says.
In a further boost to cruise business in the city, it has emerged that Dublin Port Company and Dublin City Council will jointly host the Cruise Europe Conference in Dublin in 2016. The three day event attracts over 200 delegates from major cruise lines and leading cruise destinations throughout Europe.
The conference will offer an opportunity for the city to showcase its growing cruise capabilities - including the Alexandra Basin Redevelopment Project.
Stemming from the Port Company's Masterplan (2012-2040), the project is intended to transform the port to allow larger ships of all types, including the world’s largest cruise ships - to routinely call at Dublin Port.
Cruise business is currently worth around €50 million a year to Dublin, according to the Masterplan.
“All the signs from the cruise lines point to Dublin as the port of choice for their passengers, and we are confident that this demand will heighten further next year," said Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive of the Dublin Port Company.
Meanwhile, Following the loss of Stena Line's Holyhead route, Dun Laoghaire has been drawing up a planning application for a €15 million 'jumbo' cruise facility for submission to An Bord Pleanala.
A press release for the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group says it expects to welcome 21 cruises this year.