In May, Dublin welcomed the Celebrity Eclipse and next year, the ship will debut a handful of sailings using Dublin as a turnaround port for the Norwegian fjords.
“Dublin shows considerable capacity for further development as a marquee destination and is seeking to become a turnaround port for cruise ships by 2020,” commented Pat Ward, head of corporate services for Dublin Port Company.
That may be attainable, as the port is adding another 19 calls this year, up to 128, with 210,000 passengers and crew expected.
“What we have seen is our cruise season has lengthened,” Ward told Cruise Industry News. “Traditionally, the cruise season has spanned April to September. However, more recently we’ve seen cruise calls in January and December. This is a testament to the demand-led nature of the industry and how popular Dublin is as a destination.”
Any homeporting dreams will need to be backed-up by a strong airlift portfolio. There are 1,723 flights weekly from Dublin Airport, which is a 15 to 20 minute drive from the port. There are 186 flights daily to European destination and up to 14 direct flights daily between Dublin and 15 major U.S. cities.
By 2026, the 230 million euro Alexandra Basin Redevelopment program will be complete, providing new and deeper berths, as well as widening the turning basin and allowing ships to berth further up-river.