(8:45 a.m. BST) -- The number of cruise ships calling at Dublin is set to increase again from 2024, Dublin Port Company (DPC) has announced. The news comes a month after the port revealed plans to halve the number of vessels calling at Ireland’s capital city.
The decision to allow just 80 vessels to call at the port from 2021 -- the same number as 2010 and compared with the 160 cruise ships scheduled to call this year -- was announced in the light of increasing freight business. However, the port has now said that following the construction of new cruise berths the numbers will increase again, reaching a projected 150 in 2024/25, and 200 plus the following year.
In a briefing statement prepared for Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, the DPC acknowledges the impact of the cruise industry on Dublin and says cruise calls will rise when construction work is completed to extend the North Wall Quay.
The document states: “The port recognises that new cruise facilities will be required to further develop this business and cater for future growth prospects. The company believes that the consented option of redeveloping North Wall Quay best meets the objective of growing Dublin’s cruise tourism business to its maximum potential. The main attraction of the cruise industry is the generation of significant revenues for the Dublin region.”
However, the briefing paper states that cruise revenue accounts for just 2.5 percent of the port’s business -- totalling €90,374,000 in 2018 -- and although the port could part fund the development, third party financial support would also be needed, as has happened in other cruise ports such as Barcelona.
The port said it will hold talks with organisations including Dublin City Council (DCC), the tourism development authority Failte Ireland, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and other potential funders, both private sector and public sector, on financing the project to redevelop the North Wall Quay.