The return of cruise ships to Ireland has been described as “absolutely great news” by business leaders.
During the pandemic one of the hardest hit sectors was the cruise ship industry. With its often elderly clientele and restrictions on international travel, cruises were neither feasible nor profitable.
Now, after a two year absence, the MV Viking Venus will become the first cruise ship to arrive in Ireland when it docks in Dún Laoghaire on Tuesday.
90 cruise ships are due to visit Cobh between April and November this year and the President of the Cobh and Harbour Chamber Joanna Murphy told Newstalk that locals are hugely excited for their return:
“We must remember that we went from 150 ships down to nothing two years ago,” Ms Murphy said.
“The local economy in Cobh really, really has suffered as a result. So to hear [about] the return of cruises has really been such a feelgood factor in Cobh over the last 24 hours.
“So absolutely great news.”
She added that every time a cruise ships docked in Cobh before COVID there was a wonderful buzz around the town:
“You’d have music playing on the prom,” she recalled.
“You’d have people walking around in costumes, you’d have the animation team in their costumes for the Titanic.
“All the pubs are busy outside, people eating outside.
“There just seems to be such a good feel good factor and every time a ship comes in it’s exactly the same story.”
Main image: File photo of the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas, which carries 4,515 passengers and 1,360 crew. Picture by: Ron Sachs/DPA/PA Images