Business booms in Dublin Port as liners queuing up for berths
Irish dancers and musicians were on hand to welcome 13,000 visitors to Dublin who arrived into the capital onboard four luxury cruise ships.
The liners docked in Dublin Port in the early hours of yesterday within four hours of each other, bringing 10,000 tourists and 3,000 crew members down the gangways to Irish soil. The four ships - the Royal Princess, Celebrity Silhouette, MV Horizon and Magellan - were collectively 1km in length.
Their guests came from all corners of the globe and among them were Californian sisters Ashley Bliss (22) and Alyssa Thomason (14).
The pair were travelling with six of their family members onboard the Royal Princess and were planning to visit Glendalough, while Alyssa was particularly interested in sampling some Irish ice cream.
"We came from Southampton and this is our third stop," Ashley told the Herald.
"Yesterday we were in Cobh, it was so beautiful and green," she said. "It's our first time in Ireland. I have some Irish and Scottish ancestry."
Also onboard was 26-year-old Beth Callaghan. She was travelling with Kim and Eric Duncan from Washington DC and Pam Caudill from Boston and they were planning to visit the Guinness Storehouse. Experts forecast that these cruise visitors would inject up to €1.3m in to the local economy, as each passenger spends an average of €100. The Royal Princess and Celebrity Silhouette ships had to reverse into the port due to the fact that they were both longer than 300m.
Captain Emmanouil Alevropoulos said he was very impressed by the team at the Dublin Port Company, as he docked the Celebrity Silhouette in the harbour for the first time. "I am very excited to come back and stay longer. Our guests are excited for this destination. The reputation of the port is very good and our guests are very happy with the port so we are going to come and stay longer," he added.
Eamonn O'Reilly, the chief executive of Dublin Port Company, said yesterday was their "biggest day ever" for cruise ships. He described the area as a "marquee destination" for the world's biggest liners and attributed its close proximity to the city centre to its success. Management there are expecting a landmark year, as they are preparing to welcome 200,000 visitors.
Dublin Port's busiest cruise day comes as the CSO released figures which showed that Ireland's oversea visitors in the first half of the year had received a massive boost and were up 11.7pc in comparison to the same period in 2014.