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Over 180,000 passengers arrived into Cork on cruise ships in 2023

More than 180,000 passengers arrived into Cork from a total of 94 cruise ships in 2023, as the last ship of the cruise season docked in Cork. 

The Port of Cork marked the end of the season by welcoming the MSC Virtuosa, one of the largest cruise ships in the world, into Cork Harbour on Wednesday.

The cruise ship, measuring 331 metres in length and weighing a total of 181,541 tonnes, can hold up to 6,300 passengers.

The cruise liner industry holds immense value for the Irish economy, contributing an estimated €70m to the national economy and approximately €14m per year to local economies, including Cork.

Conor Mowlds, Chief Commercial Officer at the Port of Cork, said the number or passengers arriving in Cork has increased. 

“This year, we have had a 16% increase in the number of cruise liners docking in Cork, with nine ships making their maiden call. As a result, we have welcomed an additional 60,000 passengers compared to 2022,” he said.

“This considerable increase in visitors demonstrates the strength of Cork as a highly desirable tourist destination,” he added.

President of Cobh and Harbour Chamber Toddy Stafford said the cruise season is a “key highlight” of the year for the town of Cobh and local areas.

“Throughout the season, the series of impressive vessels attracts a large number of visitors to Cobh and brings a vibrant atmosphere to the town. This year’s increase in footfall has been beneficial to businesses and traders, providing a solid boost to our local economy,” he said.

The MSC Virtuosa cruise ship docked quayside in Cobh Cruise Terminal at approximately 10.30am and was scheduled to depart at 6pm on Wednesday.