The Celebrity Eclipse will begin five cruises in Dublin Port between now and June
A major cruise line is basing a ship in Ireland for the first time.
The Celebrity Eclipse will operate out of Dublin Port until the end of June.
The ship - which is 317 metres long and includes 13 guest decks - arrives in the city today ahead of the summer season.
Guests will embark for the inaugural sailing tomorrow, for a ten-night cruise taking in Ireland and Iceland.
That cruise route will be repeated three times, while a service in May will operate to the Norwegian Fjords.
The final cruise in June will take in the British Isles and French Open.
To date Dublin was considered a stop-over on existing routes.
Around 2,850 guests will arrive into the city ahead of each sailing.
Pat Ward, Cruise Business Manager at Dublin Port, it is a significant development:
He observed: "It marks the first of the major cruise lines to base a ship in Ireland.
"We're going to have over 14,000 people flying into Dublin over the months of May and June, to start. It's good for Dublin port, it's good for the city of Dublin, and it's good for Ireland Inc."
Jo Rzymowska of Celebrity Cruises added: "This is the first time in three years that we’ve added a new European homeport to our itineraries and Dublin has exceeded our expectations.
"Testament to the strong demand from our guests to sail from Dublin, we are excited to return with another ship and another mini season in 2019.”
The Irish Times reported this week that more than 400 cruise ships are scheduled to dock in ports across the country this year.