Dublin Port Company is planning an expansion to allow for greater cruise ship capacity.
The company has announced that it is seeking a partner to develop the cruise business in Dublin Port. It will be a multi-annual relationship and the focus will be to grow the port's cruise ship business, promote Dublin as a tourist destination and increase repeat visits from cruise ship passengers.
This venture is necessary to cope with the expansion of cruise liner operations and to attract more cruise business to Dublin port. According to Fáilte Ireland, cruise passenger numbers have tripled in the last 10 years, and currently stand at around 110,000. Cruise ship passengers contribute approximately €50 million to the economy per annum. Last year Dublin Port welcomed 100 cruise ships and this number has been steadily increasing. The increase in size of the ships has also necessitated the development.
The majority of cruise ships berth in Alexandra basin at present. The company filed plans with An Bord Pleanála in March to expand the port by building a cruise ship terminal closer to the city centre at the East-Link bridge which will increase the capacity for liners.
The company plans to invest €200 million in the project, which could increase passenger numbers to 320,000 and represent a substantial boost to the economy.
The cruise industry also has plans for Dublin to become a turnaround port- where cruise passengers begin or end their journeys- and not just a destination on itineraries.