The arrival of a record number of world-class cruise liners in Galway Harbour next summer is expected to provide a multi-million euro boost to the local economy.
Ten top-line cruise vessels are scheduled to dock in Galway in 2012, a marked increase from the two cruise ships that arrived here during the whole of this year.
Some 6,000 visitors are likely to arrive into the harbour on the 10 cruise liners between May 18 and September 5. Four will arrive in August – two of which will dock in Galway on the same day, August 17.
The first of the cruise ships to arrive in Galway nwill be Le Diamant on May 18, which is registered in France and carries 226 passengers and 120 crew members on board. It will be followed by two ships on May 25, including the Prince Albert II from the Bahamas and Arion, which carries 320 passengers and 130 crew.
Fine Gael Galway West TD Brian Walsh says the increased number of cruises will “provide a major boost for the local economy” and that this is “just a taste of what is possible” if facilities are developed to accommodate more and bigger cruise ships in the harbour.
In September the Fine Gael TD met with a high-power delegation of cruise line executives from Miami who had visited Galway with a view to establishing the city as a destination port for their operations.
“The seeds of this success were sown during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2008,” said Dep Walsh. “Great credit is due to harbourmaster Brian Sheridan and Galway Harbour Company for their continuing work in harnessing and marketing Galway’s great potential in this respect.”