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City set to earn €45m in cruise ship boost

A RECORD 90 cruise liners will visit Dublin Port in 2011, giving the city a multi-million euro shot in the arm.

This year's cruise season, which has just ended, boosted Dublin's economy by an estimated €45m.

Ships calling during the year included a four-day visit by The World, the must luxurious residential cruise ship ever built, and the first visit of Cunard's cruise liner, Queen Victoria.

Dublin Port Company said: "This year has seen a record 88 cruise ships visit Dublin Port," chief executive Eamonn O'Reilly said.

He was confident that Dublin Port will see another busy cruise season next year.

"Currently for 2011, we're expecting 90 cruise liners with an estimated 130,000 passengers and crew."

Confidence

"Next year will also see the first turnaround (where cruises start and finish in Dublin) at Dublin Port for Royal Caribbean Cruise Limited's luxurious vessel, Azamara Journey," he said.

"This is a further vote of confidence in Dublin Port as a top destination for international cruise companies," Mr O'Reilly added.

Since 2000, almost 600,000 cruise ship passengers have visited Dublin Port, benefiting Dublin city to the tune of almost €400m.

The Port had three turnarounds during the year, with the Boudicca, carrying 800 passengers leaving from Dublin on a 10-day cruise -- the last cruise liner of the season.

She returns to Dublin on next Saturday.

Passengers

During 2010, some 87,500 passengers and 40,000 crew visited Dublin, compared to 75,000 passengers and 36,000 crew last year.

There were 85 'port-of-call' visits and three 'turnarounds', including two visits by the Ocean Countess.

Financial benefits from these trips are significant for retailers, restaurants and bars throughout Dublin city, the Dublin Port Company said.

Dublin Port, a private limited company wholly owned by the State, handles more than two-thirds of containerised trade to and from Ireland and 50pc of Ireland's imports and exports.

The company also handles 1.5 million tourists a year through ferry companies and cruise vessels that call in at Dublin.

mlavery@herald.ie


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