Dublin Port to Limit Number of Cruise Ship Visits

One of Ireland’s capital city’s greatest assets – Dublin port. It not only allows for trade and goods to enter and depart the Irish capital city but also acts as a gateway to Ireland’s hub via the waterways.

In recent years, cruise ships have become a top holiday venture across all age brackets. Eliminating much of the fuss that goes alongside holiday-planning, cruise ships offer endless comfort and entertainment while also ensuring top travel itineraries – and all without the hassle of an airport!

However, recent news states that the recent surge in cruise ships docking in Dublin port is soon to be capped.

In Recent Years

Picture: Frank McGrath

As times are changing, so too is demand in the holiday, travel and tourism sectors. Recent years have seen a massive demand in cruise ship holiday packages which streamline the entire process of travel.

A recently released statement by Dublin Port comes as a shock to the travel and tourism sectors – which rely heavily on the footfall these cruise ships bring to the Emerald Isle – explains the reasoning behind the future plans.

In the statement, Dublin Port outlines the significant growth over recent years in cruise ships docking in the capital’s port.

“In 2018, there were 150 cruise ship calls. This year there will be over 160 and, for 2020, there are 140 bookings already.”


Photo by Erik Odiin on Unsplash

The statement goes on to outline the “what” and “why” of such change of pace.

“Because of the huge growth in cargo volumes (36% in the six years to 2018) and the impact of the major programme of capital works in Dublin Port (€1 billion from 2019 to 2028) it is necessary for Dublin Port Company (DPC) to introduce a system to better balance the allocation of berths for essential year-round cargo services and for seasonal cruise ships.”

As of 2021, we can expect to see a change in Dublin Port: “berth allocations for cruise ships in Dublin Port will be managed following a new structure.”

“The effect of this new policy will be to restrict the annual number of cruise ships in Dublin Port to about 80, starting in 2021. This is the same level of cruise ship activity in Dublin Port in 2010.”

The Future of Dublin Port

Many are asking (quite reasonably): what about Dublin as a future cruise-ship destination? Clearly, we must grow to meet demand, some argue. The statement goes on to handle these matters.

“If Dublin Port is to cater for large numbers of cruise ships (more than 200) in the future, new berths will have to be constructed at North Wall Quay Extension, adjacent to the Tom Clark Bridge.”

“This will require co-financing and/or long-term financial guarantees from cruise lines. This requirement for part-funding is set out in Dublin Port’s Master plan 2040.”



Andy Harmer, the Director of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in the UK & Ireland, expressed his disappointment at the decision.

“CLIA understands the challenges the Port of Dublin faces, but its decision to reduce their presence in the Irish cruise sector is very disappointing.”

“Ireland is a valued cruise destination and a country that receives a great deal of economic benefit from cruise tourism.”

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